California HSR 2016 Election Preview

Nov 7th, 2016 | Posted by

The 2016 election will be pivotal for the future of California’s high speed rail project. Here’s what you need to watch for on election night in terms of impact on HSR:

Who wins the White House? Barack Obama has been every bit the friend of HSR we hoped he’d be back in 2008. Although Donald Trump has occasionally said decent things about HSR and federal infrastructure spending, you shouldn’t believe a word of it. If he wins, and if Congress stays in GOP hands, they’ll unleash a further and deeper attack on HSR. But if Hillary Clinton wins, she can be expected to continue supporting HSR – and potentially promoting massive new federal infrastructure investment that could help HSR.

Who controls Congress? When Republicans seized control of the House in 2010, it put a halt to any hope of new federal HSR funding. Democrats are in a good position to take control of the US Senate. The House is a longer shot, but Democrats could make big gains there this year. If Democrats take the White House and the Senate, at minimum, it would bode well for a federal infrastructure spending deal – perhaps via an infrastructure bank. Obama and Joe Biden have previously suggested an infrastructure bank could help fund HSR.

If Democrats do make gains in Congress, many of the pickups could come in California, where the Republican Party faces an extinction-level event due to a massive voter registration surge and widespread voter dislike of Trump and his party. Here are the key Congressional races being fought in California:

• CA-10: I would love nothing more than to see Jeff Denham finally lose. He supported HSR in the State Senate, then flipped and opposed it in the US House. He’s been a major thorn in the side of HSR and getting rid of him would be a big boost to HSR’s fortunes. Democrat Michael Eggman stands a good chance of winning here.

• CA-21: David Valadao has also been an important anti-HSR voice in the Valley, even though his constituents desperately need the clean air and jobs it would bring. Emilio Huerta is running a strong campaign against Valadao and a voter turnout surge could lift him to victory.

• CA-49: Darrell Issa has also worked to undermine HSR, holding hearings designed to make HSR look bad. He is facing an extremely strong challenge from Democrat Doug Applegate, and polling has shown this race to be very close.

• Democrats also have a shot at winning CA-25, with Bryan Caforio running against incumbent Steve Knight. If the California Republicans face a Trumpocalypse, they could also lose CA-39 (Ed Royce) and maybe even CA-48 (Dana Rohrabacher).

Will Democrats regain supermajorities in Sacramento? Control of the state Legislature is not in doubt. Republicans have not held majorities in both houses since 1970. But Democrats stand a chance of winning a 2/3 supermajority in both houses, though the path is slightly easier in the Assembly than in the Senate. One thing to keep in mind is that there is a caucus of moderate Democrats in the Assembly who are not necessarily friends of HSR, though they’re less likely to want to kill it than are Republicans.

The path to a renewed Democratic supermajority runs through six Assembly seats in SoCal, including AD-65, where Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva is trying to reclaim the seat that Republican Young Kim took from her in 2014. In the Bay Area, Republican Catherine Baker – who also won for the first time in 2014 – is facing a stiff challenge from Democrat Cheryl Cook-Kallio. There are also key intraparty battles among Democrats, such as Karina Cervantez Alejo vs. Anna Caballero in AD-30 in the Salinas Valley and Eloise Gomez Reyez vs. Cheryl Brown in AD-47 in San Bernardino, as well as Bill Dodd vs. Mariko Yamada in SD-3 and Jane Kim vs. Scott Weiner in SD-11.

Will Proposition 53 fail? Gov. Jerry Brown has put his popularity on the line to stop this bad initiative. Will he prevail?

Will voters pass local rail funding initiatives? The Bay Area is voting on Measure RR to finally invest in desperately needed maintenance for BART, and LA is voting on Measure M to finally fund a massive expansion of Metro Rail. Both initiatives face opposition from corporate centrists (like State Sen. Steve Glazer) and from anti-tax Republicans. Someday, future generations will look back on people like Sen. Glazer and shake their heads at the penny-pinching shortsightedness that has kept California stuck in traffic, stuck in smog, and stuck with high CO2 emissions.

Some of these races may not be decided on election night. And California’s glacial pace of counting ballots means some races and propositions may not be decided until nearly Thanksgiving. LA County’s previous rail funding initiative, Measure J, just barely failed to reach the 66.7% mark in 2012, a result that took days to determine.

And once this is done, the real fun begins: the 2018 election cycle and the battle to succeed Jerry Brown!

  1. Bahnfreund
    Nov 7th, 2016 at 19:22
    #1

    Who knows, maybe the deal between Brown and Clinton was that in exchange for his endorsement he gets enough HSR funding that it will be unkillable by the time he retires…

  2. Aarond
    Nov 7th, 2016 at 20:24
    #2

    Trump is more able to deliver HSR than Ms. Clinton, because the former is capable of punishing obstructionist Republicans. Hilary would get completely chewed up by them until 2020. For all the shit Trump has said, he is the ONLY Republican candidate that has not actively worked against CAHSR. Compare him to Kaisch (killed OH HSR), Cruz (tried to remove CAHSR PRIIA money), Rubio (supported FLHSR getting killed) or Jeb (ditto).

    If Trump does win, Brown would be very smart to force CA Republicans into a corner using Trump’s own slogans. Perhaps Trump winning would finally convince them to become a more centrist, infrastructure-oriented party. It’d give them more voters (in CA) than what they have now.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Trump only likes trains because they start with T-R. I don’t get where you get this inexplicable liking towards Trump and dislike towards Clinton which leads to you predicting her demise without evidence.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Trump isn’t a centerist. He is a statist, facist-leaning psychopath who takes the GOP platform and adds hateful anti-globalism.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Trump is the closest thing the21st century will get to a first world fascist…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Youse guys would not recognize a fascist if he threw you out of a plane, the way Videla did on the recommendation of the Vatican.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I’ve been to enough anti-fascist demonstrations to know what a fascist sounds like.

    Aarond Reply:

    To be clear, I didn’t say Hilary would loose. Both have a 50/50 shot and she could very well be the President-Elect in 24 hours.

    I only bother with Trump because of what he’s done to the GOP, he’s the only force capable of “reforming” the party at this point. And Hilary loosing means the Democrats will be forced to clean house. Him winning would ensure the Democrats can win back the Senate in 2018. Gotta win the battles you can.

    Joe Reply:

    50-50 is like Two-Face the Batman villan flipping a coin.

    Actual poll aggregation with stochastic simulation using historical poll variance to represent uncertainity puts it at 99% Clinton.

    Aarond Reply:

    My gut says Trump will win but my brain says Clinton. I think most people are the same way. This boils down to a coin flip especially if turnout is low and gut voters outweigh the college/elite voters who use their brains.

    Also, both Trump and Hilary are capable of being Batman villains, each with their own movie. Both are crashing the plane with no survivors.

    Joe Reply:

    Women seem especially excited today. Must be moon phase thingy.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well you know how those folk are…

    With all their emotions and high pitched voices and what not…

    I mean could you imagine what the world would have looked like if women had led it for the last two thousand years?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s the recycled campaigns of 1968 and 1980 coming back to haunt you. You sure it’s not something recycled from 1964? “In your guts you know he’s nuts”

    Aarond Reply:

    Depending on your view, a comparison to 1970 (a known establishment candidate vs a populist) is probably more accurate.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There wasn’t a Presidential election in 1970.

    Aarond Reply:

    I stand corrected, I meant 1968. Nixon (mr law and order, also former HUAC laywer) vs Humphrey (former communist, also author of the ’64 Civil Rights Act).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Nixon never was even close to being a populist. He was Eisenhower’s VP for fuck’s sake.

    Jerry Reply:

    adirondacker 12800
    What? Are you saying history repeats itself?
    And if we don’t learn from it, we are destined to repeat it?
    PS. “In your heart, you know he’s right!” (far right)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people demanding change chant the slogan from 1980 and go into a frenzy when they hear a speech that could have been given in 1968. All we need is George Wallace and Lyndon Johnson. Walter Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley would be nice.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I could do without Wallace, but I would really enjoy LBJ coming back…

    synonymouse Reply:

    LBJ was the idiot who let the Vatican talk him into escalating the Vietnam conflict.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Put down the John Birch Society newsletters.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The Vatican had nothing to do with Vietnam.

    And if you think Vietnam was LBJ’s doing alone, you need to read up on both Nixon and Kennedy. Heck, there were American soldiers in Vietnam as early as the Eisenhower administration.

    Danny Reply:

    a quantum finish! You changed the outcome by measuring it!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Isn’t it funny how sociology and quantum mechanics both have different results depending on who is doing the measurement and how?

    Jerry Reply:

    @Aarond re: guts v. brains
    A dichotomy worthy of consideration in all decisions. (Even HSR)
    Conflict is inevitable. How we handle it is………

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Gut feelings don’t predict elections, aarond.

    Jerry Reply:

    The visceral votes however do add up.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The final tally is not yet in, but it appears the US has once again produced a “losing” candidate with more votes than the winner.

    How much more proof does anybody need that the current US constitution is not the most perfect document god ever created ™ ?

    Eric Reply:

    4th or 5th time overall I think.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You are right. Actually with both numbers.

    There were four times (including 2016) where the person that received more votes did not receive most electoral votes. And there was one time where the election was decided in the House of Representatives and a person who had neither received the most popular votes nor the most electoral votes (John Quincy Adams) was elected President.

    The most controversial of those elections are likely 1876 and 2000

    Mitch Reply:

    How did that go? 99%

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Reforming the party into what? Dixiecrats with a whole cable news network to spread the propaganda?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, the Democrats were mostly a party of Southern racists for half a century. It did them no good at the presidential level…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Turns out you can win as the racist party…

    You just have to avoid running as the Southern racist party…

    Aarond Reply:

    It is at least a thing people will support. It was a Dixiecrat (LBJ) who built what we now understand as the NEC (through the High Speed Ground Transportation Act of 1965) and it was all Dixiecrats who still support clean nuclear power. For comparison, neoconservatism (1980-2016) is completely dead as an ideology.

    My point about “reform” is that if we ever want to widespread Republican support for these things, Trump is the only means to do so. While I don’t consider Trump a good POTUS candidate overall, this is one very good mark for him.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    LBJ was not a Dixiecrat. He was a Democrat and he was from Dixie, but that’s not the same thing as being a Dixiecrat.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    “…predicting her demise without evidence.”
    It is now November 12, and I think we found evidence.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    After he’s more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings at a single bound, fighting an never ending battle for Truth ™ Justice ™ and the American Way (TM) .

  3. Mattie F.
    Nov 7th, 2016 at 21:36
    #3

    No mention of San Diego’s Prop A? Though I suppose it has approximately zero chance of passing, since its failure to include a PLA earned it opposition from normally transit-oriented Democrats (under the guise of claiming that its 5:1 transit:auto ratio was too car-oriented).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What’s a PLA?

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Project Labor Agreement – a controversial provision that pre-agrees to use certain union shops in exchange for no labor action https://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/rpt/2011-R-0360.htm

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Ah okay. I’d like something like that in Germany. Does not sound like such a bad idea.

  4. synonymouse
    Nov 7th, 2016 at 21:42
    #4

    Slap taxes on the lumpen, Hillary, and pump the money to PB-Tutor.

    Meanwhile:

    http://www.railway-technology.com/news/newsnew-study-reveals-tramways-have-smaller-footprint-than-brt-systems-5660197

    Tell it to Ed Lee and Steve Hemminger.

  5. Marc S
    Nov 7th, 2016 at 22:09
    #5

    I think you mean LA Measure M, not R.

  6. Roland
    Nov 8th, 2016 at 00:30
    #6
  7. JJJ
    Nov 8th, 2016 at 07:19
    #7

    Fresno: Neither Mayoral candidate is a HSR cheerleader but both would continue to support the project. Even the Republican candidate supports it due to the effects on the local economy.

  8. Roland
    Nov 8th, 2016 at 09:28
    #8

    http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2016/11/06/donald-trump-effigies-burned-across-england-for-bonfire-night-orig-mobile-tc.cnn

    Roland Reply:

    Celebs prepare to bail out: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/08/entertainment/celebs-canada-donald-trump/index.html

    Roland Reply:

    World markets collapse: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/11/08/trump-performance-tight-white-house-race-sends.html

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What does your defense of democracy say if indeed it turns out that Clinton won the popular vote but lost the electoral college?

    Roland Reply:

    I would not know (I am British Citizen and proud of it): http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/09/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-popular-vote/index.html

    Roland Reply:

    We call this “proportional representation” where I come from.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, the current Conservative “majority” in the Commons is also mostly due to the quirks of first past the post voting…

    Runoffs would at least partially solve that. But proportional representation would solve it even more.

    Roland Reply:

    Live: Trump protests across several US Cities: http://www.cnn.com/specials/live-video-1

    Roland Reply:

    Elon plans to emigrate to Mars: http://www.spacex.com/mars

  9. morris brown
    Nov 8th, 2016 at 11:13
    #9

    Here is another “success” story of High Speed Rail.

    Bloomberg: France, Spain Take Over High-Speed Railway as Operator Collapses

    France, Spain Take Over High-Speed Railway as Operator Collapses
    Joe Mayes Joe_Mayes

    September 15, 2016 — 5:40 AM PDT

    French and Spanish state rail companies will take control of a cross-border high-speed service after the private operator failed.

    TP Ferro Concesionaria SA will be liquidated after efforts to restructure 557.2 million euros ($627 million) of debt collapsed, the company said in a statement on Thursday. Operations and employees will pass to a new venture formed by Spain’s ADIF and France’s SNCF Reseau, it said.

    “The continuity of the railway service is guaranteed with the same levels of performance, safety and quality of service,” TP Ferro said.

    The operator, controlled by Spain’s Actividades de Construccion & Servicios SA and Eiffage SA of France, has struggled since its formation in 2003. Europe’s economic slump damped business and leisure travel and delayed construction of infrastructure connecting the trans-Pyrenees service to existing transport links.

    A proposal to restructure TP Ferro’s debt failed on Thursday because too few creditors attended a vote on the matter, the Llers, Spain-based company said. A court in Girona, Spain, will set the terms of the liquidation in a process which “should last some months”. The company owes 391.5 million euros to lenders, it said.

    Distressed-debt investors Avenue Capital Group and BlueMountain Capital Management were among hedge funds that bought parts of TP Ferro’s debt at a 30 percent discount in 2014, two people familiar with the matter said at the time.

    Yes Yes indeed: Private funding will be forthcoming, based on histories like this.

    Joe Reply:

    Mansplain the private funding for air travel given every major US airline but southwest has declared bankruptcy at least once.

    Jerry Reply:

    People who think as Morris thinks tend to overlook that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Morris is full of his own confirmation bias…

    EJ Reply:

    Joe, if you can find one example of a business venture in a certain sector that’s failed, that means they’re all doomed. You don’t need to do any further analysis.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Every company in the sector, except one, has failed. Even with massive subsidies.

    EJ Reply:

    I’m referring to Morris’ post re: Spanish/French HSR. But yeah, that too.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wait, every company in which sector has failed?

    synonymouse Reply:

    PB-Tutor is counting on Hillary to bankroll the gravy train.

    Jerry Reply:

    A ‘gravy train’ we can all use. And ride.
    Are you enjoying your ‘ride’ on the Iraq ‘gravy train’???

    synonymouse Reply:

    Most pundits are predicting Hillary will favor foreign military adventures much more than the nationalist Donald.

    “W” proves he really is one of the stupidest presidents ever as he did not vote for Trump, pretty much the last best hope of the tory GOP. Wall Street has co-opted the Democratic Party and the Repubs are thru. As hereabouts. Jerry is a closet Repub, a born-again developer who throws a bone here and there to the teachers’ union as a royal gesture.

  10. Roland
    Nov 8th, 2016 at 14:31
    #10

    Breaking News: “To help accommodate passengers feeling the squeeze from crowded onboard conditions, Caltrain will be adding extra seating capacity to its commute service beginning Monday, November 14.” http://www.caltrain.com/Page4585.aspx

    Paging Clem: Can you give us an update on the CalFranKISSenTrain seating capacity?

    Joey Reply:

    The part you quoted is deceptive. They are adding addtional cars to some trains and adding additional trains. They’re adding more capacity in general, not seating specifically.

    Clem Reply:

    Still 573 seats per six-car train. If SF prop J/K and VTA measure B pass I would bet against ever seeing six-car trains. Instead, you would ride an eight-car train with more than 800 seats to choose from.

    Roland Reply:

    1) So “The Plan” is to blow north of $2B replacing 762-seat 6-car train running at 125% of capacity with 800-seat 8-car EMUs less another 125 seats for another set of doors because of uh, duh A-C-C-E-L-E-R-A-S-H-U-N? G-E-N-I-U-S

    2) Whatever makes you think that Santa Clara County taxpayers would ever pay for any of this San Carlos crappola?

    Clem Reply:

    The seat loss from operating at two boarding heights is 80 seats, not 125. But yes, a very high power-to-weight ratio is the only prescription that works if you someday want to run 4 HSR blended with 6 Caltrain per peak hour per direction. This ain’t rocket science.

    Roland Reply:

    Talking of rocket science, did you read the revised track “configuration” memo and, if so, what will be the speed of the rocket sledge by the time it is done clearing the switch?

    Clem Reply:

    No switches on the peninsula… remember the bit about “primarily two tracks?” Elsewhere on the HSR main line it will be 60 mph per this Notice to Designers, but that has little bearing on the blended system.

    Roland Reply:

    Two-track Hillsdale relocation ain’t gonna happen. BTW, waddya think that some nut submitted scoping comments that all switches on/of the mainline should be upgraded to 80 MPH?

    J. Wong Reply:

    What’s the relevance to having 80MPH switches at the relocated Hillsdale with 4-track? They’re not going to be switching HSR to the local tracks (hopefully FSSF) there or at least not at full speed, which is only going to be 110MPH.

    Roland Reply:

    “They’re not going to be switching HSR to the local tracks (hopefully FSSF) there or at least not at full speed, which is only going to be 110MPH” so WTF is the point of the high-accelerating seatless, bikeless, toiletless and passengerless CalFranKISSenTrain then?

    Joe Reply:

    Last sentence in Roland’s hot takes breaking news link.

    Once the train network is electrified between San Francisco and San Jose, Caltrain will be able to run more frequent service, allowing the system to carry more passengers.

    Roland Reply:

    Breaking News: 6 x (800-80) = ?

    Joe Reply:

    Roland Breaking wind and in need of some help.

    Roland Reply:

    Did your plunger just discover a new orifice?

    Joe Reply:

    Breaking badly now.
    More trains per hour means more capacity.
    Math too hard so it’s train size, not how it’s used.
    This path leads to disappointment.

    J. Wong Reply:

    I noticed the longer trains. They definitely accelerate slower than the shorter trains.

    Clem Reply:

    Also possible: bullets operated as AEM-7AC + 8 Bombardier.

    Roland Reply:

    Length in feet, please?

    Roland Reply:

    @JAW: Are you talking about the 6-car Bombardiers introduced in 2015 or are you comparing F40s with MP36s?

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Silly Roland, I’m talking about the expanded gallery consists.

    Roland Reply:

    @JAW: Are you noticing a difference between the 6-car Bombardiers introduced in 2015 and the 6-car Gallery train sets introduced in 2016 or are you comparing F40s with MP36s?

    David Reply:

    Surely there are some FRA-compliant boxcars they could hook up.

    Joey Reply:

    And fill them with folding chairs. Because seats!

    Roland Reply:

    Caltrain is hiring planners!: https://twitter.com/Caltrain/status/796125901356462080

  11. Roland
    Nov 8th, 2016 at 18:32
    #11
  12. Roger Christensen
    Nov 8th, 2016 at 21:01
    #12

    Measure M 67.2 % – but with only 9% reported.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    It won.

    StevieB Reply:

    Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority – Measure M

    Yes 69.82% 1,451,784
    No 30.18% 627,510

    4,988 of 4,988 precincts reporting (100.0%)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A small consolation, but good news on a horrible day nonetheless.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The worst day of my life, perhaps.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Certainly up there among the competition. But to be honest, it was amplified by me being not entirely healthy due to a colleague coming into work sick… (He did not want to, but the boss made him)

  13. J. Wong
    Nov 8th, 2016 at 21:48
    #13

    It looks like the road to HSR just got much, much harder.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Honestly, HSR is the smallest of my worries right now.

    What would I give for a national runoff like in France.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Agreed.

    Joe Reply:

    Well, at least the global recession will put a damper on commute traffic.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/opinion/election-night-2016/paul-krugman-the-economic-fallout

    Alan Reply:

    In some ways, perhaps. In others, maybe not. If there’s any good news this morning, it’s that it appears that Prop 53 is going down by a 3-percent margin. So it appears that HSR can get by for the next few years by issuing revenue bonds, which was the plan all along, IIRC.

    Prop 53 supporters tied the measure to opposition of HSR–IOW, pass 53, stop HSR. They failed. In ways, the Prop 53 vote was the HSR revote that Morris and others have wanted for years. They got it, and lost.

    It also appears that the BART bond issue received a sufficient majority in SF county, but not Contra Costa. I couldn’t find results for Alameda County–was it on the ballot there as well? And in the end, does the measure need a 2/3 vote in each county, or is it 2/3 of all votes cast?

    Frankly, people in CoCo were kookoo to not pass the bond measure. I was just out that way last week, for the first time in a number of years, and the traffic is appalling–and I didn’t even get down towards Walnut Creek on 680. Highway 4 was bad enough, even with BART to West Pittsburg. For their sake, let’s hope that SF saved their butts…

    Finally, Herr Trump is going to quickly learn the same lesson as every one of his predecessors: Promising things is easy. Delivering them is damned hard work. He’s going to have to make nice with his former opponents in the Senate, who he demeaned, ridiculed and defamed in the primaries, before he can even think about building a bipartisan coalition. He’s going to find the work to be a lot harder than running his companies, and he may find it so distasteful that he could choose to be a one-term president.

    Aarond Reply:

    There’s plenty of things Trump can do day one, for example tariffs. There are some things the legislative Republicans cannot fight him on without being primary’d while many Democrats are in favor of it as well.

    Frankly, all he has to do is tear up free trade and he can win the mandate. Hopefully this will include oil imports, the US oil lobby got kicked by the Sauds so now they are going to bite back. Should it happen it’ll mean lower emissions as the US transitions to NG and biofuel while oil train congestion compels states to invest in rail.

    There’s a window here, one which has not existed in at least 30 years.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Or he could turn out to be an actual fascist with no regard for the constitution who now has access to the nuclear launch codes and majority in both houses of Congress as well as a 4-4 Supreme Court with a vacancy to fill…

    Aarond Reply:

    Republicans said the same of Obama in 2008, starting with gun confiscations and a second AWB. Didn’t happen.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Obama is famous for saying “don’t boo, vote”.

    Trump is famous for saying “knock the crap out of him”

    Trump’s fascism is most apparent in the glorification and aesthitication of violence he is responsible for. Which was precisely what the goon squads of Mussolini were all about. Mussolini started out as what could be mistaken for a leftist and initially had no political ideology beyond “knock the crap out of them”…

    And he did “win” the elections…

    Aarond Reply:

    Obama isn’t famous for that, he’s famous for crying on TV when Congress said No to his gun control in 2013. A true malaise moment, but without any of the insightful commentary. That combined with the TPP, the Snowden scandal and his attempt at a Syria war caused people to flip.

    Also, Trump has no black shirts. Whatever he implements will have to be within the existing US legal system which gives US citizens certain unalienable rights that he can’t restrict. The larger question here is about alien residents and refugees, who do not have those rights.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Why do you oppose the TPP?

    Aarond Reply:

    Because it allows large companies to sue the government for hurting their profits? Or because it would double down on the DMCA?

    That said regardless of my personal opinion it’s clear most Americans don’t want it. This is why Hilary had to back off from it, but even the association it completely sank her. Same for Cruz.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Obama still has very high favorability ratings. He would have won the election in a walk, had he been able to run for a third term.

    Alan Reply:

    Tafiffs and foreign trade don’t excite people. Trump’s base is going to want quick action on things that benefit them, and Dems are going to be ready to pounce on any misstep.

    I also think that you greatly underestimate how difficult it is for any President to unilaterally abrogate an international treaty. Whatever people think of NAFTA, it isn’t going away quickly.

    Aarond Reply:

    The Senate votes it down or else they get primary’d. That easy. It’ll be gone before 2018 ends. A tariff on Chinese products is even easier because it’s done through the US Trade Representative and not a formal Treaty.

    Also, it does excite people especially those in Wisconsin, Michegan, Ohio and Pennsylvania that have lost their jobs over trade.

    Alan Reply:

    Votes what down? NAFTA? That ship has sailed. If you mean TPP then yes, there still is a chance there. But Trump is going to have to employ some real experts–not Christie, Giulliani and Palin–to get him to understand the ramifications of whichever action he chooses.

    The next 4 years are literally going to be “The Apprentice–Presidential Edition”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Trump does not understand the amount of his own ignorance.

    He will decide first and see the consequences later.

    He thinks he is smarter than all people who have historically advised presidents.

    That is part of his danger. As well as his authoritarian tendencies.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Stop buying the lie that trade kills American jobs. It’s simply false.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    agreed. It is a net job positive

    But trade does kill SOME jobs. And those people are pissed

    J. Wong Reply:

    SFGate is reporting that RR is passing by 71% combined 3 county totals.

    Alan Reply:

    Thank you. Good to hear.

    zorro Reply:

    Measures RR(at least 70%) and M passed.

    blankslate Reply:

    Also Santa Clara County Measure B which includes funding for the BART extension to Downtown San Jose and major Expressway expansions, among other things…

    keithspedicabs Reply:

    and Caltrain grade separations

    Alan Reply:

    I just read the text of Trump’s speech from last night (actually, early this morning…). He stated emphatically that we will rebuild our infrastructure, putting people to work doing so. While he did not mention rail specifically, it’s hard to reconcile his position on infrastructure with opposition to HSR, particularly when he states that our infrastructure will become “second to none”.

    We shall see.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    This is starting to become the “Hitler built Autobahns” line of arguing…

    Alan Reply:

    You’d prefer that we have another two or four years of nothing?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I’d prefer not to have a major country, heck the major country governed by what can only be called a fascist.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yes. HSR is nothing in comparison.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Seconded.

    Alan Reply:

    That doesn’t seem to be an option at this point. So again, you’d prefer four more years of a do-nothing Congress fighting with the administration?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yes. I want the Democrats to filibuster everything conflicting with their party platform.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The fundamental problem is that one party can gain from always doing the partisan thing and abusing the system to the hilt, but the country would be better served if both parties were to refrain from doing so…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yes, but what can we do? Let them repeal Obamacare? I don’t think so.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    No. We should not let him do that. But I am not a politician. Maybe people would respect a Democratic party with balls of admantium more, but maybe they would turn away in disgust because of a “lack of civility”. I do not know.

    Danny Reply:

    the real bug in his autarkic craw is his ridonkulous trillion-dollar Pentagon proposal: military spending’s what’s been sucking all the air out of the economy (even when there’s growth it doesn’t put down roots)
    that’s also why GE failed to give us HSR in the 90s–they used building an American HSR as a replacement for their Cold-War cost-plus white elephants (where ever DID that “peace dividend” go?) and went about it the same way they’d done 1941-91, and humiliated themselves

    Aarond Reply:

    In fairness, the only reason we got the Interstate system was because it was STRAHNET. If Brown is smart he’ll make the same pitch but with STRACNET.

    Roll with the punch. If Trump wants to spend a trillion or more on shiny weapons combine rail investment into it.

    Danny Reply:

    Trump’s probably amenable to such blended spending: he’s a BIDnessman rather than an ideologue; he even was a Dem until like 2007; Reagan’s path is actually quite different–Ron used to be a Dem, but converted to Bircherism to date Nancy; he worked for GE and 40 Mule Team but knew nothing about generators or borax
    deep down inside his pumpkin head Trump’s for abortion, irreligion, and single payer, and against AR-15s and the Iraq War–he’s a panderer with terrible instincts and a string of banktruptices, but doesn’t worship some batty 20s Russian-American novelist like most Republicans
    most pols are actually relatively vacuous figures, comfortable with notions from the left and right halves of the designated “mainstream” (which’s dropped to like 45% of the electorate by now)–in CA we have Schwarzenegger and Brown
    Trump’s also a high-roller Pub who won by decimating the “small-government”-but-BIG-subsidies pols like Cruz and by exposing the little hat trick of denouncing Washington while your home state/district contributes to the deficit

    Aarond Reply:

    I am intensely curious to see if XPW somehow revives as a result of this. Trump’s Vegas casino is located adjacent the existing ROW and as President he could easily push NVHSRA into it. In order to do that, CHSRA needs to connect Bakersfield to LAUS.

    As for midwestern projects, the Steel Interstate demonstrator alongside I-81 might come into existence, as could the proposed Great Lakes Basin RR (Chicago bypass). On the east coast NEC modernization, Gateway Tunnels and Empire Corridor HSR are sure bets now.

    Useless Reply:

    Aarond

    I am intensely curious to see if XPW somehow revives as a result of this.

    No. Xpress West was a private venture.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I would not make anything of Trump’s political past. Mussolini used to be a socialist, remember?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    If he keeps ownership of his businesses, he is even worse than I thought. I am perpetually shocked at how low he can go.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Trust me, he can go lower.

    JJJ Reply:

    The problem is that Paul Ryan controls the money bag

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They have been making America great again since 1980. Don’t hold your breath.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    #MakeAmericaTwoDaysAgoAgain

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    This is one further reason why I think runoffs are a good idea. It gives those that though their pet third party hobbyhorses were more important time to rethink who should lead the country.

    Of course, Trump did not win the most votes, but even if he had, he would likely have lost a runoff.

    I am sounding like a broken record, but the US needs a new constitution.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The current one is certainly far from perfect.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    whoa whoa whoa

    Aren’t you the guy who wants multi-parties? Pick a side!!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That is an entirely consistent stance.

    In most German cities the mayor is elected by the people and there is either a runoff or something very close to it (two rounds with the second round called off if some candidate already wins 50%+1 vote or more in the first round and candidates can and usually do drop out for the second round; this is the system in Saxony). City council however is elected on a mostly representative and proportional basis.

    Of course a city like Dresden has several parties in its town council and in the last elections the mayoral candidate of the “left” parties won the most votes in the first round, but as the right (CDU) and hard right (AfD, Pegida) candidates withdrew for the second round (making the second round very close to a true runoff) the independent/FDP candidate won the election. It was not the outcome I would have wanted, but it was clearly a democratic outcome. A city government is actually one of the least defective things about the city of Dresden.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    We could have eliminated the electoral college, but a young junior senator in the 60s with the initials JFK fought the nasty GOP off.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-hardaway/how-the-electoral-college_b_12910280.html

    He realized it serves an important purpose.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Nobody knows who won the 1960 election. We do not know who won the popular vote, because there was a slate of “unpledged electors” that were necessary because of Southern racist democrats and how do you count votes for them?

    As for the electoral vote, we all know who won that according to the official count, but it should be remembered that Texas and Illinois were both very close (as was California, which ultimately went to Nixon) and there was some evidence for enough shady business that it could have possibly flipped the election. But Nixon conceded because he wanted to avoid a constitutional crisis (seriously, the man never ceases to surprise) and that was that

    But if you count 1960 as another time the popular vote and the electoral vote split, you actually get the total up to five or six. 1824 (where the House decided) 1876, 1888, 1960 (see above), 2000 and of course 2016.

    If the electoral college really is necessary and the popular vote should not count, why is every other office in the US that is determined through elections determined through first past the post popular vote or some variation thereof. Why does California not have an electoral college in elections for governor?

  14. morris brown
    Nov 8th, 2016 at 22:51
    #14

    Some News: Tuesday 11:00 PM

    The Authority has cancelled the Nov 14th Board meeting

    Both the US House and Senate will remain with Republican majorities

    Looks very much like Trump will be the next president which is most UN-fortunate and really unbelievably.

    JBinSV Reply:

    Morris, for once I agree with you. It only took a Trump election to do it.

    Roland Reply:

    Hopefully this will only have been a bad dream by the time we make up in the morning…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Unfortunately, it will be our long global nightmare.

    The lights have gone out in America. I do not know when – if ever – we shall see them go on again.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Good Lord

    240 years of the Republic and this 1 election ends is all. Grow up

    – We elected a President (Lincoln) that caused a civil war, that did not end the country

    – We elected a President (Nixon) that ordered spying against his political enemies and had to resign rather than be impeached, that did not end the country.

    – We survived World Wars and invasions, that did not end the country.

    yes its bad, but stop wallowing in the echo chamber of your dispair. It is a long way from turning the lights out in America.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    What is wrong with the world and America I know and love. First borderline-facist heads of state in central Europe, then Brexit, the the Colombian referendum, now this. What’s next–LePen?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Probably Le Pen is next. Or the AfD in Germany. It really is the 1930s all over again. And I don’t see any FDR to come bail us out of this mess.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    You Germans gave to do everything you possibly can to keep Merkel in power. She is the most powerful liberal (in the classic and modern sense) left in the world, and I truly don’t know what we’ll do without her. Please fight for her, for the sake of us all.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I would not ever think I would be saying that, but right now I will have to defend Merkel against much worse. I will not vote for her party, but I will now fully embrace that voting for the Social Democrats gets me Merkel rather than hate it.

    There is a not entirely irrelevant current in leftism that has a similar approach towards capitalism: It is a horrible and unjust system, but it still has to be defended against fascism or religious fanaticism.

    As the old Romans used to say: O tempora! O mores!

    john burrows Reply:

    Quote from British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, Aug 3, 1914 (the day before Britain entered World War 1).

    “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time”

    Wish I could predict the future, but I don’t think that a Trump presidency will be quite as gloomy as the future that Britain faced in August, 1914.

    Roland Reply:

    Board selection of Preferred Alternative has been pushed back 5 months (to 4/30/17).
    Caltrain funding agreements are still being drafted.
    http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_111416_FA_Projects_and_Initiatives_Report.pdf

  15. Aarond
    Nov 8th, 2016 at 22:57
    #15

    Coin flip, Trump won. A friendly reminder, we COULD have had Biden, Sanders or Webb, all of which were capable of beating Trump. Ten years ago people could have told you their dislike of Hilary, that’s how Obama won the 2008 Dem nomination.

    But it’s no matter now. With the Democrats’ fortunes reversed they will have about 24 months to regroup while watching the GOP burn down the ACA, NAFTA, and free trade. Brown should use the window to sell CA Republicans on Making California Great Again™.

    Jerry Reply:

    The visceral votes won.

    Wells Reply:

    You believed the rightwing propaganda. This is election 2000 over again.
    This White House “boss” spoke truth that the election process is rigged;
    not by hacking election tally machines, but by deceit misleading the gullible,
    without technically lying, deceiving conservative voters to believe lies,
    condemning the living to hell on earth. Before a year goes by, as in 2001,
    will a new Patriot Act surveillance state could precede more war?
    And some new Condoleesa Rice excuse, “Who could’ve known they’d use airplanes as missiles?”
    reward cowardice with an oil tanker, pipeline or mountain top removal dedication in their name.

    Aarond Reply:

    The world didn’t end in 2008 and it’s not going to end now. Especially when the Democrats now have a clear shot at 2018 like the GOP did in 2010.

    Also, the warhawk Republicans (the exact same people who were with Bush) bet against him (both in the primary and in the general) and lost. Hilary was the candidate who wanted infantry in Syria to “combat russian aggression”.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Perhaps we should have gone into Syria in 2010. It would be better than it is now. Besides, what is the point of controlling congress when Trump can veto everything. I just hope Obama gets TPP through.

    Aarond Reply:

    No way that happens. Even if Republicans are in favor of it they will wait three months to give it to Trump. Also I wonder who Pence will pick for the open SCOTUS seat.

    That said, LA still benefits. Besides Measure M passing with 69% of the vote Trump will ensure that B-21 Raider production in Palmdale continues. And if he really does crack down on free trade, Metrolink will suddenly have access to the Alameda Corridor and Cajon (because all that port traffic will be replaced with factories back east).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    This election may well turn out to be like 2000 in that the “winning” candidate lost the popular vote.

    Seriously, what is the point of the electoral college?

    Aarond Reply:

    To check the power of the popular vote. That is explicitly what it is for.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    No.

    The electoral college made some very minor amount of sense back when it took a month by mule to get from the Southern colonies to the North and “national media” consisted in whatever Franklin’s printing press churned out, but today… What is the point of the electoral college today?

    What is the point of distorting the will of the people if that’s supposedly what your constitution is based upon?

    Revolutions have begun with less of a trigger.

    Eric M Reply:

    Some reading for you:

    WHY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

    The Electoral College was created for two reasons. The first purpose was to create a buffer between population and the selection of a President. The second as part of the structure of the government that gave extra power to the smaller states.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    “give more power to the smaller states” – let me translate that for you: Increase the power of slave owners, who had (part of) their slaves counted but did not let them vote. If only the popular vote is counted, slave states get less representation than otherwise. Same thing for the Senate. It was a ploy by the slave states to dictate the agenda. Why do you think the majority of all antebellum Presidents were slave owners?

    “create a buffer between the population and the selection of a President” – translation: Again, make it easier to disenfranchise Blacks, Native American, poor people and women.

    What conceivable purpose does this ass backwards slaver system serve in the year 2016?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Our primary goal right now needs to push for legislation in states giving their electoral college votes to the winner of the popular vote.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Unfortunately by simple reasons of math, this cannot happen without some red states also voting for something like it.

    Or do you want California to award its votes to the national popular vote winner regardless of what the other states do?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    In nice round numbers the popular vote is tied.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well as they say, every vote counts…

    And this is precisely the reason why most advanced democracies have runoff elections for at least some offices.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I think the popular vote must always be respected by the electoral college.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Unfortunately a bunch of dead slave owners in powdered wigs disagree.

    Eric Reply:

    The purpose is to make Republicans president even when they lose the vote. Most Democrat-leaning states have already agreed to legislate it out of existence.

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

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Actually, it is slanted to the Dems.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/05/02/republicans-have-a-massive-electoral-map-problem-that-has-nothing-to-do-with-donald-trump/

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    But it only would have changed the result in favor of the Dems in recent elections. Dems have now won 8 of the last 9 popular votes, yet lost 3 elections.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well if it really were slanted towards the Democrats how did Trump happen?

    There is no conceivable reason for this arcane system. It is about as useful in America of the 21st century as feudalism in an industrial society. Get rid of this shit before it hurts even more Americans.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Trump happened because Hilary could not carry even solidly Blue states. Wisconsin has not voted for the GOP since 1984!!! Trump was opposed by top politicians of all parties. How did she blow it?

    Its not the electoral college, its the fact she lost all swing states and some of the blue states.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Swing States and blue states do not matter in any election outside the US. There only the popular vote matters. And often there is a runoff.

    Why do you defend this archaic undemocratic system that has no conceivable purpose whatsoever?

    Aarond Reply:

    Because America is America, that’s why. And America is the second oldest contiguous Democracy on the planet, so the system (if imperfect) clearly functions very well.

    Also remember that America is itself comprised of 50 states, if people want direct democracy they can move to a smaller state where individual votes matter a lot more. This is one of the reasons why the Democrats just got licked: they forgot where they came from (Southern farmers, Midwestern socialists, and Industrial belt unionists).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The southern farmers started to vote Republican once the Republicans embraced the Dixiecrat platform.

    Joey Reply:

    Its not the electoral college, its the fact she lost all swing states and some of the blue states.

    And yet, the electoral college and the popular vote show different results

    Joey Reply:

    To be clear, there’s no questioning of the constitutionality of the electoral college result, there’s a question of whether the electoral college serves any legitimate purpose in a time where basic literacy of voters is no longer a question.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The electoral college was always intended to do 2 things.

    1. In a time where logistics were a real issue, it ensured that states would always have a way to “vote” on the Presidency. At the beginning, the delegates were appointed by the state legislatures. Having statewide votes was not all that easy.

    2. It gave disproportional power to the smaller states so they would not be overwhelmed by larger states. The bottom 4% of the population actually has 8% of the votes. Its not a huge distortion, but it does ensure that Wyoming is not overlooked.

    If you care to recall, Bahnfreund, our first disagreement on this board was about providing HSR service to middle america, Omaha to be exact. And your argument was that if they didnt have very much population, and lived in the rural areas, and therefore did not have the density to support HSR, they were not important enough to care about. The electoral college makes sure you have to care. So it makes sense that you hate it so much, it was specifically designed to prevent your attitude from working.

    You are still missing the key point here, 58+ million people are pissed. Pissed at the elites, their “betters”, and the people who tell them they are dumb hicks. The people who are being left behind in this latest economic transition. And they voted for the canidate that was the farthest away from the estabilshment as possible, regardless of his positions, because they are not listening to the press, the politicians, or the smart people any more

    It is surprising to everyone, including me. No one had any idea the frustration was so deep and so wide. Even with Trump doing everything in his power to lose the election, with leaders in both the Dems and GOP against him, they voted for him.

    Take 5 min, stow your outrage, and ask why. Is it because 58 million people are crazy. Or did they just send a very clear message that they have power regardless of how others ignore them.

    Trump is a dumster fire and we will be lucky to get out with minimal damage, but thanks to this election, that HALF of the country got their say, so they dont need to escalate it any more. By 2020 both parties will have had to react and give them at least some of what they want to avoid this again. And in the end, that is how it is supposed to work.

    You keep looking at the short term, which is bleak. But because the system is free and fair, they got their say without resorting to violence. Isn’t that better than the alternative?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    58 million people have been told by the Republicans for 36 years that government is bad.
    They Scozzafava’d the ones who voted for TARP. And will anybody else that doesn’t toe the government is bad line. They rejected the anointed candidates. I suspect they will turn on Congress again when they actually repeal the Affordable Care Act and the extra super duper special bestest plan that their hero promised them is revealed – “get better or die”. And that he didn’t use his super powers to instantly erect the Wall. Or deport all the undocumented aliens on the next bus. Or when the jobs don’t appear. . . no matter how hard he clicks his ruby slippers, coal mining isn’t coming back,,,

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Being pissed isn’t a good reason for voting Trump.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    they dont have to clear their reasons for voting with you (as you dont with them)

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I don’t vote just for my own interest. I vote because I have a genuine desire to make life better for the greatest number of people, and Clinton delivers that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How many campaign events does Wyoming get in an average presidential election? How many does California have? How many do Florida or Ohio have?

    The electoral college does not ensure small states do not get ignored (for that the Senate should take care) it ensures that a small handful of “swing states” get undue attention and outsize influence.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Wrong. Clinton ignored Wisconsin and lost it. Because it was “safe”.

    Colorado got a lot of attention. It is relatively small.

    It’s a system, with quirks and advatages. The rules were known before the election. This has happened at least 5 times before. If people wanted it changed it would be changed

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The national popular vote interestate compact already has the support of 11 states (both big and small) representing over 160 electoral votes and will come into effect once states representing 270 electoral votes have signed on. Measures to that effect have passed at least one chamber of the state legislature in additional states representing over 90 electoral votes.

    This is happening. And if and when a Republican gets screwed over by the electoral college, you can’t say flipflop fast enough for it to happen.

    Eric Reply:

    What I’m afraid of is that now that Republicans have won 2 of the last 5 elections solely due to the electoral college, the Compact will become a partisan issue and no Republican on the state level will be willing to vote for it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I thought the electoral college (just like voter suppression and gerrymandering) had already become a mostly partisan issue…

    Aarond Reply:

    I’d like to pop in and post a fun fact:

    “Democrats now control only 13 state legislatures (26%). If they lose 1 more they fall below the % needed to stop constitutional amendments.”

    https://twitter.com/marcportermagee/status/797462124788379648

    If the Democrats don’t make downballot gains in 2018 and 2020, the US returns to a one party state. This shouldn’t be difficult though IF the party politburo removes it’s head from it’s ass.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Ironic that California is already a one-party state. Actually at least 2 proto-states.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Maybe some of the candidates up for 2018 should be primaried from the left?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @ Bahnfreund. NO! NO! NO! The last thing America needs is more polarization. We need radical centrism, third way-ism, whatever you want to call it. We cannot continue to pull apart towards the fringes.

    Aarond Reply:

    Obama tried it and gave the gov’t to the GOP. Available data strongly suggests that much worse (the GOP becoming able to modify the Constitution) is plausible if the Dems continue with the same platform. Swing staters want nationalism, they don’t care if it’s red flavor or blue flavor.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Aarond
    Don’t sell your soul to the nationalists.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think there is a winning coalition to be built on legal pot, higher minimum wages, health care for all and a lot of other things that are to the left of what the Democratic party currently does.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    If that coalition doesn’t include immigration reform, a big focus on climate change (over jobs, if necessary), and free trade, you lose a lot of centerist Democrats, possibly including me (though probably not against Mr Trump).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I agree with the former two and I agree with free trade in principle, but not all trade agreements are automatically good. Producing stuff at slave wages helps exactly nobody. And it was one of the consequences of free trade agreements in the past. Future free trade agreements should be negotiated with that in mind. After all, paying people in El Salvador who knit together T-Shirts a fair wage ends up benefiting not only El Salvador (whose main trading partners are its neighbors and the US) but also people in the US.

    Aarond Reply:

    @Car(e)-Free LA:

    If the Dems want to remain a national party, and I think they should given the damage an unchecked GOP could cause, they’re going to have to be at least somewhat nationalist because globalism no longer sells in the states that matter.

    The GOP won all all three branches of government (Congress, the Presidency, in two months the SCOTUS) on a nationalist platform despite being otherwise moronic. Dems lost despite having the world’s best on board. Do we want this situation to improve or get (much) worse?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Let them have what they voted for. Insurance companies that can turn you down because of preexisting conditions. Or charging premiums so high you can’t afford them. Banks that charge you 1000% more than it costs to provide the service. Low crop prices because our trade partners retaliate and buy Australian grain instead. Coal mines running round the clock even though it’s apparent we have past peak coal and it’s fading fast.
    If past performance predicts future actions the Republicans ain’t gonna do squat except cut taxes on rich people. Then blame the Democrats for the deficit it creates.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @Aarond globalism can sell in NC, FL, AZ, NH, NV, and CO.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well if the electoral college remains in place (which is not a given), there may well be a time when the Democrats have an even greater structural disadvantage than they do today. I mean, the rust belt may well be gone for good and while Virginia, Georgia, Arizona, Texas and a surprising amount of the libertarian leaning western states are trending blue, it is probably unlikely that any of them will change their status by 2020. I do not think Virginia will be safely D by then, and I do not think any of the others will be any less than “lean R”. And if you don’t have the Rust Belt and cannot gain states elsewhere, the electoral college is gonna bite you in the expletive.

    Danny Reply:

    Americans are pretty inured to constant claims of apocalypse–in 2004 Bush was gonna nuke NYC to get us into Iran, in 2008 McCain was going to hit Moscow, in 2012 Romney was going to go Greg Stilson because of the Mormon “White Horse prophecy,” etc.
    eventually it becomes background noise

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Obama has been repealing the Second Amendment for eight years and Clinton was going to do the same. Government healthcare has been turning us into Communist zombies since Medicare was enacted. The debt is doing to cause hyperinflation, except when a Republican congress cuts taxes during a war and increases spending. Then it’s just peachy.

    zorro Reply:

    I’m going to pretend that I didn’t see what you typed, repealing a Constitutional Amendment requires a 2/3rds vote of Congress, and 3/4(38 states) to vote yes on this, then it would go to the President Of The United States(POTUS) for His/Her signature, which is also the method to approve of a US Constitutional Amendment, repeal has not happened, no vote has happened to do this, ever, but then you are not being serious…

    If you were being Serious, I’d laugh at you.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I know that, You know that. The far right press apparently doesn’t because they have been screaming about how Obama is going to repeal the Second Amendment since the day after the election in 2008. It was very good for gun dealers, sales were brisk,

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Honestly, there should be a clarification of what exactly the Second Amendment is supposed to mean or do. But that is politically impossible and the founding fathers are no help either…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Founding Fathers wrote lots of letters to each other which have been published. It’s rather clear that they had a well regulated militia in mind. The clause about conscientious objectors never made it into the final document.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/6/27/525635/-

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And it is also pretty clear that “the people” to them did not include black people, women or people that did not meet property requirements…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I hate Sanders and Webb. I literally cried all night because I (white, male) wasn’t going to see the first woman president, and that president wasn’t going to be Hillary, an incredible woman who has spent her entire life trying to make other people’s lives better. I don’t care if it is Castro or Booker or someone else in 2020–nobody will compare with Hillary Clinton.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    This election will become one of the staples of alternative history fiction in decades to come.

    Like The Civil War. Or World War II.

    Eric Reply:

    from your mouth to Harry Turtledove’s ears

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think he’s too old to be alive when this is enough in the past to be considered anything but “current events”

    Eric Reply:

    he’s written current event novels, the supervolcano novels for instance.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But has he written a current events alternative history?

    With a clear political side to it?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I want Clinton 2020!!!!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I want free and fair elections 2020. Given Trump’s tendencies, that’s not necessarily a given. And then I don’t really care who runs for the Democrats as long as he or she wins. It can be Sanders, Warren, Clinton, Van Jones, Villaraigosa, Newsom, Biden, Al Franken, whoever. Just stop Trump. If it’s not too late by then.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I agree, but I am truly devastated that she will probably never be president. She deserves to be.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That, unfortunately, is life. I agree that few women ever deserved to lead their country more than she does. But despite most Americans agreeing with that the electoral college screwed her out of that…

    zorro Reply:

    Seriously? Hillary is 69 now, in 2020, you can do the math, I doubt She wants to do this again, Lets see Sen Elizabeth Warren has no skeletons, is aggressive, younger…

    Sen Elizabeth Warren for POTUS in 2020…

    There fixed it for you.

    We need to protest when bad bills come up, right now? People are in shock, some didn’t vote, why? Cause Clinton is not Obama, so they stayed home, and no one went and campaigned enough, they assumed the election was in the bag, Obama left nothing to chance, the DNC left everything to chance, now We have Trump as President elect and Pence as VP elect… People have plenty to fear, what’s done is done, the election can not be undone, it’s over.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    She’d be bernie’s age, that’s the math.
    And still younger than Trump! Because math works like that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Plus women have a larger life expectancy. And Donald Trump’s father had Alzheimer’s.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I woud prefer Booker or gillibrand if I can’t have Clinton.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Clinton 2020?

    How many times do you want to lose? She had every advantage in the world including a divided Republican party and LOST! She even lost big, it was not close.

    53% of White Women voted for TRUMP. She cant even pull in her demographic.

    This has caused so much damage to the Clinton brand that Chelsea probably can never run, its that bad.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Chelsea isn’t a politician. Obviously, she lost because of smear attacks and low information voters. When you look at all her policies, they clearly benefit almost everyone. By 2020, I expect Trump to prove this. I don’t expect Clinton to run again, but I want her to be president. I wish she won in 2008.

    Eric Reply:

    Clinton is a horrible candidate. She went into elections against Obama, Sanders, and Trump as the overwhelming favorite. She lost two of those and barely won the third. This is not because she’s a woman – women have done fine on the Senate level, have been supported by Republicans for vice president, and have won the highest office in our peer countries. It’s because Clinton is a bad candidate. Furthermore, being related to a previous president gives a whiff of nepotism that, all things being equal, should make us avoid another Clinton.

    Too bad Elizabeth Warren didn’t run. She would have won.

  16. john burrows
    Nov 8th, 2016 at 23:41
    #16

    Not much doubt that Trump will be our next president, but there could be a small consolation prize for Hillary in that she might be able to pull off an Al Gore flip of the popular vote.

    Last I saw, Trump was leading in the national popular vote by about 1.2 million, In California, Hillary was leading Trump 60% to 35% with a combined vote as of 10:32 PM of 4.4 million votes counted. This is slightly over 1/3 of the 12.6 million California total from the 2012 Presidential Election in which Obama’s percentage margin over Romney was slightly lower. By the time all of the California votes are counted, Hillary’s margin over Trump may equal or exceed Obama’s 2012 margin of 3 million. This uncounted vote of somewhere around 2 million would exceed Trump’s current 1.2 million margin.

    Also, Trump seems to like to do big stuff—-Maybe stuff like high speed rail?

    Jerry Reply:

    President elect Trump has said in the past that China’s trains are super fast while our trains go chug, chug, chug.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    he is such an idiot. I wan’t dubya back.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Honestly, I would have preferred the third Dubya term over Trump.

    Eric Reply:

    By far. Dubya was pretty damn good for a 21st century Republican.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    He just happened to be incompetent.

    Eric Reply:

    Not by Trump standards.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I actually fear a competent Trump much more than an incompetent Trump. An incompetent Trump can do damage, for sure, but if he tries to end American democracy, he will be much easier to stop than a competent Trump.

    Alan Reply:

    He’s got the perfect opportunity to put our money where his mouth is. We have a HSR project that’s not only “shovel ready”, it’s under construction. If he sincerely wants to make our infrastructure better than anyone else’s, here’s his chance on a silver platter.

    Aarond Reply:

    Brown has to make the sell, because Trump (more than anyone else) wants to spend that money in his home state or the states or in the Rust Belt states.

    But let’s look on the bright side here: anti-infrastructure Republicans have been thoroughly routed. The Neoconservatives, which comprise the majority of the CAGOP, are gone as a national movement. Now is Brown’s chance to sell the CAGOP on HSR. Even if he has to strike a larger deal, now is the time. Strike while the iron is hot and keep hitting until it’s cold.

    synonymouse Reply:

    This is not HSR being promulgated by PB – it is regional commute with serious losses.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Calif will get nothing from this GOP government or Trump

    Aarond Reply:

    I disagree, I think Trump will offer HSR money. But even if he doesn’t (and this is my key point), Brown now has a HUGE window to get Californian Republicans in Sacramento on board. He needs to make a deal while he still has the chance.

    Figure this: the CA GOP has gone from more or less running the GOP to being completely irrelevant in the party. Even the NY and NJ GOP are more important as they produced Trump and Christie. Now is the time to give an olive branch to the CA GOP, using their own party’s rhetoric, and get them on board.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What a waste – TehaVegaSkyRail via base tunnels to Palmdale is just a yuuuge waste of money on the order of the Jerry & Willie’s Bayconic Bridge.

    Bully for LA and measure M, but too bad about #53, the last chance to get a handle on Jerry and his dumbass Legacy.

    zorro Reply:

    Bite Me…

    I voted against 53 Cyno.

    synonymouse Reply:

    It is Jerry who will be biting the dust soon and his replacements don’t buy much into his Legacy.

    TehaVegaSkyRail is so 1970’s, when the casinos weren’t run by tight-ass bankers.

    Eric Reply:

    really? because from what I can tell, every incumbent congressman from california was reelected except one, and that race was a democrat vs. democrat. haven’t looked at the past figures on races where there was no incumbent.

    Aarond Reply:

    Oh yes. But their voice in the party has been greatly diminished. California Republicans were all on the Never Trump wagon against Trump. Now the CAGOP has no voice either in California or in their own party.

    They are completely exposed, this is an unprecedented opportunity to get them onto infrastructure investment. The rhetoric, the message, the narrative is there. Why have one good party when you can have two?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A sane GOP? Heck, I would even risk them getting elected…

    Aarond Reply:

    Parties evolve. Reagan era neoconservatism no longer sells to Californians. Neither does Clinton era neoliberalism to Midwesterners. The CAGOP, which is mostly run by NeverTrumper neocons, has to embrace the future (Trump and infrastructure investment) or face extinction. CAHSR is the most obvious place to start.

    The California Republican party can rebuild itself and seize Sacramento again but ONLY if their platform changes to accommodate changing tastes. Even though California went 75% for Hilary, our appetite for infrastructure spending is great and there is a way to reconcile Trumpers and cosmopolitan Californians into a single entity.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Californians tend to be neoliberals.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    You mean that when Trump opens the Investment Bank floodgates (while cutting taxes) the CA GOP representatives should raise their hands and say ‘Don’t leave us out’ just because we’re all blue and most of us were against you – u mean like that?

    Eric Reply:

    Guess who’s leading Trump’s transportation policy? A lobbyist for the National Asphalt Paving Association. Don’t expect a single cent to go to rail.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And I thought he needed trains for all this deportation he had planned…

    Sorry for that one.

  17. Jerry
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 01:36
    #17

    CA Proposition 53 is losing as of 1:25 am.
    Voter approval of Revenue Bonds had:
    No Votes of 51.2%, and
    Yes Votes of 48.8%.

  18. Roger Christensen
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 02:42
    #18

    LA Measure M winning.
    69.2% with 74% precincts reporting.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    California did almost what it had to…

    The only troublesome news out of California is that the death penalty has not only not been abolished, it has now been “streamlined”…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I know. I don’t know how that happened.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Watch the tv news.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If it bleeds it leads?

    Did you know that crime – especially violent crime – has actually trended downwards since the 1990s?

    Aarond Reply:

    Californians are liberal, in the same sense that Richard Nixon was. Clean air, gun control (Nixon was explicitly in favor of a handgun ban, a view also espoused by Newsom), transit, peace with honor and Law and Order.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Though it is entirely unclear how the death penalty helps enforce law and order.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well the only way it would do is if you just killed everyone. Kill everyone and nobody can kill anybody any more…

    I am sorry, I do not understand what the death penalty ever was for. The only kind of people that should get the death penalty are the likes of Göring, Göbbels, Eichmann and so on… But thankfully almost all of them are dead.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The death penalty does not deter crime. Texas provides an example of a state that uses it efficiently and effectivky and they don’t have a statistically lower crime rate.

    The disconnect is because you are assuming the premise is that the point of punishment (jail, death penalty, fines) in criminal cases is to reform criminals and provide a deturant. There is a 3rd reason, to punish. The death penalty is based in that. It is pure punishment. Some crimes are so heinous you need to be removed from society.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    This invites the question: what is the point of punishment and is it ever necessary?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well if you have a thirst for blood, it apparently is. I don’t have a thirst for blood. I think there are very few people who truly deserve death. And there are so many that deserve life and die. And as long as we can’t give life to those that deserve it and don’t get it, we should not dole out death sentences like candy. And yes, that is inspired by a phrase out of the Lord of the Rings.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Punishment , by the state, is the civil way of avoiding vigilantism. It’s a base of society and even the most basic governing systems. And the death penalty probably predates prison. It’s necessary to get people to follow the rules. And the rules are necessary for an organized society.

    Unless you are an anarcist it’s nesessary

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The death penalty was necessary when you couldn’t practically lock somebody up. From a utilitarian standpoint, the death penalty doesn’t bring any cost of human benefits, and I don’t get the point of punishment. I want to reform as many people as I can, and the rest can remain locked up simply for the purpose of safety.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If we wanted the death penalty to be a deterrent, we would have to dole it out like candy. Just like criminal cartels do. And even they have a lot of behavior in their ranks that carries the death penalty, because people know that sometimes you do get away with murder.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    its not a deterrent. That is not the purpose

    It is punishment. And its use predates organized forms of government it is that old. Basically every form of government from tribes, to monarchy, to socialism, to democracy has seen the need to punish people who break the rules.

    It is 1 way to do that.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Can you tell me why punishment is necessary.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well slavery also predates prison. But slavery is a fundamental evil that has to be opposed on principle.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I already said why punishment is necessary. It is necessary to get people to follow the rules of civilization. Without punishment there is a segment of society that will break the rules (even with punishment). You need punishment to keep,people in line and have a civilized society. That’s why the primary punishment is to remove them from the population

    Why else would we punish? Do you want to see murder, robbery, and rape go unchecked?

    And unlike slavery, you can’t have a civil government and society without punishment

    Are we really having this discussion? How would you get people to follow the rules without it?

    joe Reply:

    You need punishment to keep,people in line
    to get people to follow the rules
    Why else would we punish?

    To intimidate. To rule by fear. Coerce. Sadism.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    States without the death penalty have lower murder rates and lower overall crime rates. They tend to have other indicators that are better too like lower abortion rates and poverty rates and less high school drop outs and …. With the exception of Utah, evil blue states.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I believe that people who have raped or murdered should be locked up for our safety, not to punish them. I just don’t see the point of punishment for punishment’s sake.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Its not punishment for punishment’s sake, it has a point. To ensure people follow the rules. Again, how do you enforce the rules if you dont have punishment? Ask politely? This is a problem as old as society itself. People have tried every possible way of getting people to comply with laws and punishment is what works.

    You can argue that the death penalty is too much punishment regardless of the crime, thats logical. But its not intended as a deterrent, its a punishment. So all the arguments about how crime is lower in non-death penalty states miss the point.

    Eric Reply:

    “Without punishment there is a segment of society that will break the rules … You need punishment to keep,people in line and have a civilized society.”

    So it’s a deterrent. And you just said the death penalty doesn’t deter.

    “That’s why the primary punishment is to remove them from the population”

    Life in prison equally removes them from the population.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I thought the point was to get people to comply with the law. States without the death penalty have better compliance.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I guess what I really believe is that people should have constructive punishment in which they pay fines or do community service for ALL non violent offenders. Otherwise, nobody really benefits. Furthermore, I don’t think the death penalty is ever useful or necessary to be used as a punishment

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Read all of what I wrote. I said you need punishment (the concept) and the death penalty is 1 type of punishment. The most common punishment is prison. Removing people from society. For all types of crimes for varied lengths of time, in the case of murder, forever.

    Car(e) believes that if you fine people and make them do community service that is enough punishment. Fair enough, that’s your opinion, but it’s still punishment.

    Any deturance from theses is pure happenstance. You can’t “end” crime, humans don’t work that way

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I read all of what you wrote and it makes my brain hurt. In one breath you claim punishment makes people follow the law and in the next you say it doesn’t.

    Jerry Reply:

    A penitentiary was supposed to be a modern-day form of prisons in which a person could show their penitence and reform (reformatory) for his/her bad actions. It was supposed to be a place for reformation.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    show me the quote where i said punishment did not make people follow the law….

    I said the death penalty is not a DURANT…I argued it was pure PUNISHMENT. Different words, different meanings.

    PS, I even non-violent crimes need prision (punishment). A list of non-violoent crimes

    – Most property crimes, such as theft, embezzlement, and receipt of stolen goods, arson
    – Fraud, tax crimes, other forms of white collar crime
    – Drug and alcohol-related crimes
    – Prostitution
    – Racketeering and gambling
    – Bribery

    You really want all those people to pay a fine and keep going?

    Joe Reply:

    Tax evasion
    Sexual assault
    Rape
    Fraud

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Then you don’t understand what the word “deter” and it’s variants means.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Of course I don’t see a point in imprisoning people who have committed
    – Most property crimes, such as theft, embezzlement, and receipt of stolen goods, arson
    – Fraud, tax crimes, other forms of white collar crime
    – Drug and alcohol-related crimes
    – Prostitution
    – Racketeering and gambling
    – Bribery
    Who benefits. We lose money if we lock them up, and we can earn money and compensate everyone who was harmed if they’re fined. They make up for the harm they have done to society that way. Also, they have no incentive to commit those crimes if they’ll end up poorer than they were before they committed them.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Riddle me this, if paying someone to be filmed having sex is legal, why is paying someone to have sex not legal?

    Now I totally get that a lot of people are forced into prostitution or a re victims of human trafficking, but what exactly does it help them if the mere act of charging for sex is illegal – even it happens between safe sane consenting adults – help anybody?

    I would not pay for sex and probably most here would not, but it is a fact that some people do. And punishing those that sell sex is the wrongest way to go about it. Because most of the time, those are the ones most victimized by the system. I do not think punishing those that buy sex is helpful, but if scientific studies determine that it is, this might be a way to go, libertarian misgivings aside.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I find prostitution repulsive, but I don’t really see the purpose in illegalizing it (provided it is voluntary, of course.)

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    just out of curiosity, if they cant or wont “pay” what will you do with them? Some scenarios, assume they are all tried and convicted. what are your sentences

    1. An upset person burns down Trump tower, no loss of life. Total loss in the 100s of millions. They have $2000 in the bank and no other assets

    2. Bernie Madoff stole hundereds of million from pensioners. There is no money left.

    3. A mob bass is caught and convicted of tax evasion, rackateering, and running prostitution. They cant prove any violent crimes. He has no findable assets.

    4. A person keeps stealing stuff out of your house while you are at work. he keeps getting caught and convicted but refuses to pay restitution. Since there are no prison, he just continues to do it.

    Simple answer, society benefits. Society does not need restitution, it needs protection from criminals. There are bad and evil people who need to be removed from society so they dont harm (in non-violent ways) the other members of society that actually follow the law.

    On the other point about filming and sex, the simple answer is that the court (through a whole series of cases) has ruled that pornography is free speech and prostitution is not. BTW, that has not always been the case. For much of American history pornography was illegal and filming it was illegal.

    I suspect that prostitution will one day be legal, it already is in Nevada. But the sub-set that is from exploited women, not freely given, is a major drawback to acceptance. As is the basic puritan nature of America.

  19. Wells
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 03:50
    #19

    Heil Trumpler!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    This is not a joke any more. This is serious. Dead serious. This is what it looks like. This is how “it can’t happen here” happens here.

    Danny Reply:

    no, the Jew-baiting, McCarthyite, vote-rigging hawk who waxes orgasmic about war and who demands that all media and government institutions be synchronized to them lost

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Jew baiting? When where and how?

    McCarthyite? When where and how?

    Vote rigging? Clinton won the popular vote in both the primaries and the presidential election. I would have liked Sanders to win, but ultimately, more people voted for Clinton.

    “waxes orgasmic about war”? When where and how? Donald Trump said “bomb the shit out of them”, not Clinton.

    And what you say with regards to media and government institutions is ridiculous, given that Trump wants to “open up the libel laws” to sue everybody, not Clinton.

    Danny Reply:

    heavy attacks on Sanders’s Jewishness during the primary, which WikiLeaks reveals to have come from the top—Correct the Record trolls even implied that Jews were responsible for the slave trade
    they blame Russia every time they stub a toe and as SoS she planned all foreign policy (even her support for the Honduran coup) around the assumption that if anything goes awry it’s Muscovite tentacles
    the DNC has committed several RICO violations alone in having secretly fought Sanders—the entire primary was basically a nice big fat hoax (ballot-box stuffing is too crude)
    after some initial hesitancy, she’s aggressive and confrontational at around the level of McCain: Ukraine, Syria, Libya, and various “chess games” against Iran, all with an eye on Moscow; look up the video of her talking about Qaddafi’s bayonet sodomization
    Trump is likelier to start incidents (the Persian Gulf) or even use tacnukes (Raqqa, Mosul) but is bafflingly dovish when it comes to grand strategies: Trump has one neocon in his corner, Clinton has all the rest

    Wells Reply:

    Yeah okay, but he’s a borderline mob boss over casino gambling, drinking and strippers, catering to those with money to burn, not in the least concerned about the welfare of most Americans.

  20. Robert
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 07:43
    #20

    Measure M has passed:

    1,451,784 Yes
    627,510 No

    Even if 98,381 additional No votes came in, we still have the 2/3 needed for the win. Thats $120,000,000,000 for Los Angeles County.

    Seattle passed, and the Bart rehab also passed.

    All good news for transit. To be seen how receptive Trump is to HSR.

    RT

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Hardly a consolation on such a rotten day.

    Aarond Reply:

    Hell no, this is great. LA now has $120 billion to play with. That’s far and above the $13-15 billion needed for Bakersfield-LAUS. On top of that, LA now gets a Wilshire Subway and some sort of Sepulveda rail tunnel.

    The one great thing about America is that everything can burn down in DC but ultimately it’s the County Seat that matters. And Los Angeles County has chosen to make Los Angeles (transit) Great Again.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There will be a right wing majority on the Supreme court for the time to come.

    That means Trump can literally break the constitution as long as he does it the “right” way…

    Aarond Reply:

    The federal government cannot prohibit a County from spending their own sales tax revenue in the way they desire. LA is building rail in LA for LA.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Can Democrats filibuster supreme Court nominees? It’s only fair that we try and block them.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    They certainly can (if only in the “get up and talk” way) but it is really a very dangerous precedent to set.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The Republicans already set it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Did they? I thought they just threatened to threaten something and the Dems caved…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    so now the Democrats are the party of “no”? I thought a straight up and down vote was a principle they wanted?

    Are you really intending to stall for 4 years? Because the GOP allowed Obama to fill vacancies. To stall for 4 years is way worse than anything the GOP did.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Two things:
    The GOP filibustered like crazy, even when it didn’t benefit them. We should, when it benefits us.
    Trump didn’t win the popular vote. More Americans wanted Clinton. He is not going to be my president, and in my worldview, he is illegitimate.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The top priority for all Americans must be that there will be an election in 2020. And that Trump loses it.

    Trump threatens the very foundation of America in a way no President or candidate has since the candidacy of George McClellan who wanted to give up on the Civil War and let the South have slavery and secession in 1864. And McClellan nearly won.

    Aarond Reply:

    Oh please, I got the exact same line from my parents after Obama won in 2008. There was no federal AWB, Israel was not subjected to sanctions, and churches were not forced to preform gay marriages. And the Dems will rebuild downballot starting in 2018.

    The broader issue is with the GOP, legislators have 24 months to slip in anything they want to existing bills. This is where federal HSR happens or not, in the minutiae of budget and appropriations bills.

    Aarond Reply:

    On that topic, I remember how many conspiracy theorists thought “Obama’s plan to destroy America” would happen:

    – nationwide gun confiscation followed by mass imprisonment of priests, gun owners, etc (this was determined through mailbox stickers)
    – federalization of law enforcement, local cops replaced by FEMA jackboots and PMCs in rural areas and UN Peacekeepers in major cities
    – selling of major infrastructure (railroads, power plants, water lines etc) to Chinese companies in order to service debts, and the US government intentionally destroying major US businesses (GM, US Steel, etc) for China
    – US merging with Mexico and Canada into a North American Union, dumping the greenback for an Amero and suspension of the Constitution and dissolution of Congress (to be replaced with an EU-like parliament)

    Result: it never happened.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I like the idea of an Amero.

    Danny Reply:

    dunno about 2018–Nelson (FL), McCaskill (MO), Tester (MT), Menendez (NJ), Casey (PA), Kaine (VA), and Manchin (WV) are all prototypical “Clinton Dems” and will be cut down without a Dem Prez around to shield their gladhanding DINO butts
    Stabenow, Tammy Baldwin, even Sherrod Brown are also vulnerable to populist challenges from either party

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I hate populists. I love Clinton Dems.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The difference between the panic about Obama then and the panic about Trump now is that Trump has actually said he wants to do a lot of the things people are now scared about.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Clinton conceded. I believe, along with a lot of other people, that the single greatest moment in all of modern politics is the concession speech.

    In a lot of countries, when you lose, your speech is to take to the streets and the countryside and fight an armed rebellion against the government. That does not happen here. That is not how you run a democracy. I am no Hilary fan, but she did the right thing. You should follow her example since you are such a fan. You say you respect her, but she has asked you to put aside your differences and respect the vote. Are you going to follow her in defeat?

    You are the loyal opposition. He is your president (elect) regardless of your feelings.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    After 8 years of hearing the Tea Party scream about an anti-colonial Kenyan communist? Lead by the president elect?

    zorro Reply:

    @ 12800: What do think protests will do currently? Besides get people thrown in jail?

    He’s the President Elect, I don’t like it either, it could be worse, Pence could be POTUS…

    Yes, I voted for Hillary, I’m a registered Democrat.

    And yes I’m scared too.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Since the 60s the Republicans wrap themselves in elaborate prose about having respect for the office and being civil when there is a Republican in the White House. When it’s Democrat they sling as much mud as they can.
    Their reaction to protests are the dirty hippies should be thrown in jail. It’s their reaction to any one who has the temerity to disagree with rich old straight white guys.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Question for people older them me: during the Nixon/Reagan years, did any protests ever actually accomplish anything.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They scared white people into voting for Nizon.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well the Stonewall riots started out as a protest against one too many police raids…

    zorro Reply:

    Only for as long as the Majority does not change the rules, Minority Party gets no say in making rules, unless there is consensus, and Republicans would rather have complete control.

    Republicans could require that someone has be there, to make doing a filibuster more difficult, or they could do as the House did long ago.

    les Reply:

    What about C&T? Are the legislative votes there now? This would be huge for Jerry.

    Robert Reply:

    Assembly is more than 2/3 Democrats, Senate is one vote shy of 2/3 as of right now. I’m sure Robert will follow up with what this means in a blog post shortly.

    RT

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think he is still too shocked by the Trump victory to churn out a new article.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I can barely do anything today.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I fully understand that feeling.

    zorro Reply:

    Still one vote shy, sigh… Better than before. Barely.

    Col Applegate came close to unseating Rep Darrel Issa. :(

    Danny Reply:

    I do know of a certain Victory Fund that raised $61 million for state-level races, but mysteriously that money all went to one presidential race when it could’ve done some good for the House

  21. Bahnfreund
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 08:45
    #21

    Apparently another big story of tonight is that the death penalty won big across the board…

    Which even overshadows the weed thing, because clearly the state putting people to death is a bigger deal than some plant.

    Aarond Reply:

    I find it hilarious as Prop 63 and 64 also passed. It just goes to show that while the majority of Californians lean blue, they also demand Law And Order. Nixon truly was representative of most Californians.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But he had to give a “last press conference” when he tried to become governor…

    JJJ Reply:

    Law and order was also one of Trumps two actual policies

    Eric Reply:

    I think 3 states legalized MJ.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Unfortunately the Feds can end this rather quickly. Obama just did not want to escalate this, but Trump might want to flex his authoritarian muscle on that one… Pot is still federally illegal and federal law trumps local law…

    zorro Reply:

    Or state law(a province in some countries).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Precisely.

    If the Feds want they can bust up any “legal” marijuana dispensary. And the only thing that could even in theory stop them is the Supreme Court.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    That’s tragic.

  22. Eric M
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 09:01
    #22

    To all you naysayers, ha ha.

    As for Prop 53, it look as though it will NOT pass. That is great news too, maybe not for Morris though!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Hillary Clinton actually win the popular vote? Not that it does her any good under this ass backwards constitution that was written to accommodate slaveowners.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yes she did. By 200K votes. It really is rigged, but not in the way trump says. She would be president, and most Americans agree.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    This is really a sad day for America and for Democracy.

    Eric M Reply:

    No it’s not. Read up on the electoral college and why it is needed

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The Electoral College, just like the Senate or the three fifths compromise were put into the constitution to safeguard the interests of slave owners.

    It’s horrible that those things are still there.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So if they used it to stop Trump, you would be against that? Just checking how far your principles extend.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    To be quite frank I would not be up in arms if the electoral college had gone out against Trump. I would still not like it and frankly would see it as just one more sign of how deeply in need for reform the American system is, but I would have sighed in relief that the fascist has been kept out…

    But alas, the fascist has gotten in and now it remains to be seen how well the system of American democracy can withstand an attack from the inside.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    is there a single principle you profess to hold that you are not willing to compromise for obtaining the “right” answer?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I would not be up in arms, but I would also not like it. Because the electoral college is a stupid idea no matter whom it benefits.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Exactly, you would compromise your principle in this case. That’s what I said

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I would still campaign in favor of getting rid of the current system and the electoral college.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    but only after Trump was denied the Presidency. right? Not before.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    nope

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I do not think it would even be possible to stop the current madness in its tracks short of the actual members of the electoral college deciding to. So if you mean that, I would not be writing them letters to please vote for Trump. But I would be glad to see the Republicans agree that the electoral college has no place in modern America.

    After all, it was put there http://time.com/4558510/electoral-college-history-slavery/ http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Essay:The_Electoral_College_and_slavery to ensure slave holders got more representation than they should have.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I agree it is a sad day, but not for Democracy.

    Everyone underestimated the depth of the dissatisfaction with the political elite in this country. Through voting, a revolution was executed without bloodshed and civil war. Without a doubt, the people were able to execute a fundamental change in government through voting. That is Democracy.

    I would also point out that it was not money that caused this. Clinton spent more direct and PAC money. This proves elections can not be “bought”

    I disagree with the vote, but I respect that the rules were understood beforehand (electoral college) and people have spoken. Also the electoral college helps the Dems more than the Republicans. The problem is Clinton was such a poor candidate she lost every battleground state and some “secure” Dem states like Wisconsin which has not voted for the GOP since 1984

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/05/02/republicans-have-a-massive-electoral-map-problem-that-has-nothing-to-do-with-donald-trump/

    final note, as horrible as Trump is, things like this are exponentially worse. The point of democracy is to allow people to peacefully change the government when they choose. To attempt to override that is despicable.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/03/17/if-no-one-else-stops-trump-the-electoral-college-still-can-its-in-the-constitution/?tid=pm_opinions_pop_b

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You cannot sincerely talk the high talk of direct democracy one day and then the next day turn around and sing the praises of the blatantly ridiculous electoral college.

    Why don’t the US have the following: One election with two rounds for every office. If any candidate gets 50% plus 1 vote in the first round they are elected, if not, there is a runoff. And if any person filling any office dies, there is a special election for said office within three weeks.

    What would be so hard about that?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Here, wallow in your echo chamber some more

    https://thinkprogress.org/why-america-failed-4f2cbabcd99e#.g4y31tl0l
    http://reason.com/archives/2016/11/08/why-democracy-is-not-sacred

    You dont believe in Democracy at all, so you have no room to talk. America could certainly institute the system you describe, they choose not to. That does not make it “wrong”. The name of the country is the “United States” The electoral college is designed to make sure each state has a say, so big states dont swamp out small states. It elected JFK despite losing the popular vote. Do you disagree with that?

    You stated that you trust people to elect representatives, they did that. There are 58+ million people in this country that are pissed, they are forcing you to listen. Would you rather they took up armed rebellion?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s hard to hold a rifle and use a walker at the same time.

    Aarond Reply:

    Wrong, especially when using a monopod or bipod. Also this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXGu1WxOVbs

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    37% of 18-29 year olds voted for Trump

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/09/politics/clinton-votes-african-americans-latinos-women-white-voters/

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Honestly, I would not believe the exit polls too much. They after all predicted a Clinton win…

    zorro Reply:

    Senator Elizabeth Warren would have been a better candidate, the campaign for President should leave nothing to chance, and make no assumptions, Obama campaigned in Wisconsin, Clinton and the DNC did not, then there is about 30 years of poisoning the well, Warren would have upset all that, the KOCH’s did not have to lift a finger or spend a dime recently, they played the long game, and won.

    Now We just have to hope Trump is like or nearly like Arnold, since 2020 is 4 years away, and Democrats don’t turn out in Mid term elections, since some think Congress is not important, just who becomes POTUS is, so 2018 is another Republican Victory in the making, since Democrats have no spine, No backbone, and won’t vote, while Republicans do vote, and win.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    We did take midterms during the bush administration.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes, but the House is seriously gerrymandered. And the Senate is currently the class of 2012 which remember was a year when the Democrats increased their senate majority.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    This is still unknown. They are still counting the votes. It will be a fraction of a percent either way. All the mail in ballots have to be counted

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Does your opinion of democracy consider it a good thing that – as it appears now – Clinton won more votes but lost the election?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    We dont know if she won more votes…they are still counting. The difference is 200k at the moment. Well within what could with the mail in ballots from overseas and last minute.

    Oh an are you OK with JFK winning without a majority of the votes or just the GOP?

    Tell me, how many votes did Angela Merkel win by in her most recent election. Direct votes, mind you. How many people in Germany directly voted for her?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    We have a parliamentary system. I used to think that the best possible system is one with a weak President and no Prime Minister that is mostly run by a representative parliament, but frankly, I am not sure of this any more.

    But a person who is empowered to call the shots on war or peace on his own (emphatically not a power Angela Merkel holds, that one rests with parliament and almost all wars Germany has gotten involved in since 1990 had broad supermajorities behind them, not that I think Germany should be in the war business in the first place) should absolutely and emphatically be elected by the majority of the people.

    There have been some weird situations where a parliamentary majority was not the same as the popular vote, but they have actually led to a change in electoral law and new elections. And everybody in Germany knows that elections result in coalitions.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    so that is zero! Does she even have to run for her seat or is she just the 1st in line to get an appointment? So just like in the USA, the leader is not directly elected. At least in the USA there is a link to the popular vote and the individual person. In your system, you appoint a party and they decide who to put in and can change it at any time.

    Democracies are all set up in various ways. Both Germany and America are democracies.

    zorro Reply:

    Here in the US We can’t hold a NO confidence election, in Germany or the UK they can, at least that’s what I’ve read, that still takes time, since the last election is still too fresh. We’d need a constitutional amendment for a multiparty system, that is about as likely right now, as repealing gravity.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Merkel stands in a constituency, but the chancellor does not have to be (and in the case of Kurt Georg Kiesinger, CDU ex NSDAP was not) a member of parliament. But most politicians of consequence stand both in their constituency and on the party list, which is divided by 16 states. However, if the party leader does not win their constituency but their party gets more constituency mandates than they would get proportional mandates in that state (known as “Überhangmandate” in German) the party leader (and any other person on the party list) would not get a seat. This has however not yet happened. In Bavaria constituency votes and list votes are tallied together for state elections and the list can be changed (e.g. I can vote for a candidate of party A in the constituency and any candidate on any list from any constituency) those candidate votes are then also tallied and the proportionally allocated seats are given to those in the party that get the most votes (either by constituency or overall)

    I think the Bavarian system is slightly better than the federal German system, but the best would be a bicameral parliament, one with constituencies that elect a small number of members in two rounds. The other chamber should be elected with federal lists but everybody should be free to split their votes on any candidate on any list (e.g. I could give three of my votes to a conservative I like and the rest to the social democrats and so on)

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So you criticize the US system, but in Germany the leader is elected indirectly also. Instead of an electoral college it is the legislature. It’s exactly the same with different names

    In fact, her part did not get 50% of the vote so it is easy to prove that most zgermans did not vote for her even indirectly, especially since their normal Jr partner didn’t get enough votes to form a 2 party coalition.

    So either both Germany and the USA are democracies or they are not. Your choice?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You do not understand parliamentary systems, obviously.

    In a Presidential system the President is (supposed to be) elected by the people and is both head of government and head of state. He can not be removed from office during good behavior (look at the Brazilian impeachment, it was justly seen as a silent coup d’etat).

    In a parliamentary system it is parliament that calls all the shots. Parliament passes all laws and the government (which is emphatically not the head of state) can be removed at any time for any reason. Which by the way, has happened in Germany when the FDP decided Schmidt was not to their liking and they switched to Kohl. In a parliamentary system there is also usually some way for parliament to self-dissolve and call early new elections. In Germany that happened in 1972 (after a failed vote of no confidence against Brandt) and 2005 (after Schröder wanted to see if he still had a majority). When has Congress ever declared new elections?

    Germany has a figurehead President who is elected by some form of electoral college (all MPs plus delegates from the state parliaments in equal number as the MPs). I think that is a stupid ass system, but the President has no say in anything and is basically just there so we can have a king without being a monarchy.

    If I could rewrite the German constitution, I would get rid of the President entirely.

    Back in the day I would likely have replaced the current system with one where the President cannot do a thing but is directly elected with a runoff and there is no prime minister. I really think there should not be any permanent guaranteed majority in parliament as it discourages real parliamentary debate, but I am not sure how this could be accomplished without bringing about the very real dangers of a President becoming dictator. Almost all Republics that became dictatorships without a coup or revolution were presidential republics.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i understand how the system works just fine

    Your assertion is that the US is not a democracy because the president (the leader of the executive branch) is not directly elected. I have given an example, and can give more, of other democracies where that is also true (Britain for 1)

    Is the system old? without a doubt
    Are there other systems? Yes
    Has it lead to Presidents who did not win the popular vote? Demonstrably true
    Are there drawback? Absolutely
    Is it Democracy? Without a doubt

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The difference being that states have unequal populations and sizes too large to be represented as a whole in the electoral collage.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The United States is the only place on earth that elects a non-figurehead President in such a roundabout way. Some places elect their President through parliament (e.g. Italy) but most of those have figurehead Presidents. Some places even elect figurehead Presidents through the popular vote (e.g. Austria).

    One of the biggest problems of the US – which also manifests itself in railroading – is that the sentence “The US is the only country that…” is seen as a point of pride whereas the sentence “Germany is the only country that…” is seen as a point of shame.

    Confucius is quoted as saying: “And if I walk as one of three, I walk in the company of two of my teachers”. And he was right. You can always learn from others. Be it how to do stuff or how not to do stuff. Being fundamentally ignorant of other places and doing stuff different from other advanced nations just ’cause should not be a point of pride.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    No one is ignorant of the other system. We make an active choice not to follow. That is not ignorance.

    You prefer a parliamentary system, I get that. So what, thats your opinion, not a fact that it is superior. The US has run this way for 240 years, that empirical proof it is working. It is the world’s oldest democracy, give it some credit

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2016/jul/11/paul-ryan/paul-ryan-claims-us-oldest-democracy-world-he-righ/

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Of the other “oldest democracies” how many are presidential systems? How many are parliamentary? How many presidential republics have failed, how many parliamentary republics have failed?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLoio0Z6jLw (I know it is a fictional show but it is a damn good one)

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    When you resort to fictional shows as factual proof you have jumped the shark. Also a fictional show

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvGopsM1G9g

    Fact, its working. Also, if the people want it changed you need 50% +1 in 3/4 of the states, so not even a majority of voters. Easy Breezy.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Constitutional amendments are approved by state legislatures or the convention. Not voters.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    who are elected by voters. If you had 50% + 1 in each state they could elect a legislature to approve the amendment.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I am not using it as “proof” for anything, I am just showing what the two sides in the debate are.

    And you forget to see that the Articles of Confederation were not abridged or reformed as prescribed by the articles of Confederation – no. Someone just seized the power to do so and did it.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Just saw this, it is actually quite well written for a VOX article. Perhaps it can help you through the stages of grief to get to acceptance

    http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/11/9/13575126/defeat-concession-surprise-shock-deplorables

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    We should not accept that a person with less votes will get the nuclear launch codes. This is supremely unjust and undemocratic.

    Just like a bunch of slaveholders were absolutely right in not accepting parliament’s right to tax them, even though there was every law and custom of the land against them and in favor of parliament.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Amen

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Anger
    Denial
    Depression
    Bargaining
    Acceptance

    It does not matter if you accept it or not, it is happening. The sooner you move through the stages of grief the sooner you can work to change it. Wallowing in the stages is not helping. Get to acceptance

    synonymouse Reply:

    I never liked that schema as acceptance is a form of denial thru deadening.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Get to acceptance.”
    That certainly applies to HSR.
    But, “It does not matter if you accept it or not,” CAHSR is happening.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I know. I’m either at bargaining or acceptance. I’m already thinking of ways I can make something of a difference.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    We have to ensure that Trump does not succeed in what he claims to want to do. If he was lying, okay, we should see what his actual agenda is. If he was not lying, we should use all powers we have to block him. Unfortunately there are not that many.

    Joe Reply:

    Guy who says he doesn’t like Trump trolls on grief.

    Losing isn’t easy.

    Being a Loser is forever.

    Know how to identify a Loser. Someone who doesn’t accept responsibility but wants to claim credit.

    This Guy likes Trump so much he wants to troll people to grieve.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I hope the joy of Trump voters does not turn to ashes in their mouths. I hope the generation that gave us Trump will have a chance to correct their mistakes. But I fear not.

  23. Eric M
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 10:27
    #23

    Trump victory raises hopes for California high-speed rail

    One of the more unlikely beneficiaries of Donald Trump’s victory in yesterday’s US presidential election is Jerry Brown, the Democratic governor of California (pictured), and his $64bn project to build a high-speed rail link between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    StevieB Reply:

    The Presidency has no funds for California High-Speed Rail and Congress will not provide any.

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Eric M and others:

    The article:

    “Trump victory raises hopes for California high-speed rail”

    quoted above is about as much BS as one can imagine.

    California thumbed its nose at Trump ( I agree with how California voters indeed voted).

    The author here has no credibility: Trump is not about to do anything for California High Speed Rail. If you listened to Trump’s acceptance speech last evening, he talked about big spending on infra structure projects — he specifically did not mention rail.

    That could have been an accidental omission, but no mention of rail was included. If indeed he proposes HSR, funding will be for sure on the east coast / midwest, where he had support and not in California. Get real.

    As I have noted before Prop 53 will have no effect on HSR here. You need revenue to fund revenue bonds, and the scheme to use Cap and Trade funds is kaput. The recent auctions have been a disaster.

    We in California, always trumpeting that we lead the nation, have been pushed aside by Trump’s victory. We certainly no longer lead the nation.

    Joe Reply:

    Post election ‘roid rage. Wow.

    HSR all depends on who benefits.
    I see a rational for helping build a shiny new HSR system connecting CA to Las Vegas casinos.

    Palmdale stays at the center of the universe four more years.

    zorro Reply:

    And oddly enough there is a Trump Casino in Las Vegas NV, guess what is next door?

    California, He wants customers, We want money for HSR, a deal could be struck.

    Joe Reply:

    This is all about money and nothing to do with HSR policy. There isn’t any policy but profiteering.

    If they can get a HSR station put next to their property and develop around it, they’ll approve a xpresswest loan with waiver and have CA cost share the construction on our end and apply the lower federal EIR process.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Divide the State to increase political impact.

    Some want a “Calexit”. But they can always walk across a Pelosi-style open border with Canada. And be amnestied.

  24. Eric M
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 11:39
    #24

    It’s official, 100 percent reporting and Prop 53 FAILED.

    Robert Reply:

    Mailed in ballots will be received and counted until Monday of next week I believe. Saw that in an L.A. Times story. Unlikely to change the outcome (hopefully). Thanks to Jerry for the last minute ad blitz on 53 :-)

    RT

    Eric M Reply:

    Secretary of state said 100% reported. But you never know

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    In California, 100% doesn’t mean 100% of ballots -> it means 100% of votes cast on the election day plus some mail-in/early ballots, except those received on or after election day. This is actually a ton-> people procrastinate and drop off completed mail in ballot at polls.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are there well known trends about how those ballots usually behave?

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    From the close elections I’ve seen, not really. For really close local elections, they can definitely swing things but other than that the only pattern would be that all the late ballots tend to go in the same direction (ie if day 1 of extra counting adds to yes, the next ones will also).

    California is now majority vote by mail -> http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/historical-absentee I would guess there are another 3-4 million ballots to be counted (10 so far)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So if anything Clinton’s lead in CA will get bigger.

    zorro Reply:

    Rep Darrel Issa(R-CA49) vs Col Doug Applegate(D) is still 4086 votes apart, so far, at least on CNN, Issa’s strength is coming from Orange County, while Applegate’s is from San Diego. I hope Col Applegate wins.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    As do I. Issa voted to completely defund Amtrak.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, he would not be missed in Washington.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Amazingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly due to changing demographics, Clinton seems to have won Orange County.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Clinton won Orange County but lost the White House?

    O tempora, o mores.

    Eric M Reply:

    Thanks. Figured it was odd that CA got all their votes counted so fast. lol

  25. morris brown
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 14:50
    #25

    Dan Walters: Sac Bee: What now for true-blue California?

    From the article:

    Trump’s victory, coupled with continued Republican control of Congress, means California will be, at least for the next four years, the nation’s diaspora for liberal politics. And on a practical level, it may mean a running war between Sacramento and Washington.

    With the GOP controlling the federal government, for instance, Gov. Jerry Brown can probably kiss goodbye any lingering hopes that Uncle Sam will finance his much-cherished bullet train project.

    Once a short stretch of track is constructed in the San Joaquin Valley, the state will be on its own. State officials have toyed with leveraging proceeds of the state’s “cap-and-trade” auctions of carbon dioxide emission allowances, but recent auctions have produced almost nothing.

    As being mentioned here is some posts, the Authority is now doing Rail Modernization; HSR has taken a backseat.

    see:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMNEhGX2ZaaUJTSnc

    Joe Reply:

    Billionaire and conservative Sheldon Adelson and Donald Trimp would never ever spend billions of taxpayers dollars to build HSR to Las Vegas casinos.

    Or

    http://m.reviewjournal.com/traffic/high-speed-rail-plans-may-include-station-near-proposed-raiders-stadium-site

    The stadium would be financed through a $650 million contribution from the family of Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, $750 million from an increase in hotel room taxes and $500 million from the Raiders and NFL

    Andrew Mack, chief operating officer of XpressWest, also told the five-member authority board that the company may look into the possibility of building a station near the proposed 65,000-seat domed stadium that is under consideration on 62 acres at Russell Road and Interstate 15.

    The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

    synonymouse Reply:

    With low fossil fuel prices likely for some time from ongoing pumping and pro-oil policies of the new administration air fares to LV will remain low and driving cheap.

    The real HSR market is SF to LA via the fastest route and not at all connected to FRA heavy freight. rail. Tight controls on crew payroll and very fast trip times.

    If you insist on blended drop down conceptually to enhanced commute(rail modernization) with a freight friendly replacement of the Loop route and room for plenty of commute halts along the entirely of PBCAHSR.

    StevieB Reply:

    Rail Modernization will soon be evidenced by electrification of Caltrain bringing the railroad into the 21st Century and improving the California economy. Construction on the Peninsula will begin soon. A big win for California.

    synonymouse Reply:

    A well-deserved kick in the teeth for BART and the waning Bechtelians.

    J. Wong Reply:

    You’re ridiculous. BART really doesn’t care. They have enough on their plate trying to get to San Jose, and no one is even thinking about the Peninsula.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Au contraire, BART-MTC-ABAG really does care and has tried to undermine Caltrain all along the way. Wonderful to see a superior tech in play to compare to BART. BART hates that.

  26. john burrows
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 20:15
    #26

    ll

  27. john burrows
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 21:16
    #27

    According to the California Secretary of State, concerning the reporting by the counties of election returns.

    ELECTION NIGHT REPORT—Reporting will continue until all precincts in the county have reported their Election Night Reports.

    SEMIFINAL ELECTION NIGHT REPORT—All precincts in the county have reported their Election Night results. County officials will continue counting ballots (vote by mail, provisional, etc.) during the 30 day post-election canvass period. These results are semi-final until the Secretary of State certifies results of all state contests on December 16, 2016.

    This 30 day post-election period can be expected to drastically increase the number of votes counted from California for the Presidential Election.

    From The New York Times Live Presidential Forecast for California—

    “About 8,920,000 votes have been counted already. Hillary Clinton leads in that count by about 28.2 points. We think about 3,684,000 votes remain to be counted. We think Hillary Clinton leads in that vote by about 29.1 points, based on what we know about those counties and the votes counted so far.”

    If we take the Times total of 3,684,000 votes remaining to be counted and subtract out about 200,000 to allow for minor candidates, we have 3,484,000 votes remaining. If we figure that Hillary will get 62%, she would expect an additional 2,160,000 votes—Trump’s 33% share would be 1,150,000 votes, the difference being 1,010,000 more votes for Hillary than for Trump. Currently Clinton leads in the national popular vote count by about 200,000. According to the New York Times numbers, by the time all of the California votes are counted on December 16, the California total alone will be enough to raise Clinton’s lead over Trump to about 1.2 million in the national popular vote. Clinton’s lead could be even more—According to CBS News “The biggest chunk of uncounted votes is in California. Washington State, New York, Oregon and Maryland also have large numbers of uncounted votes. Clinton won all of those states, and if the trends continue, she will pad her lead by more than 1 million votes.”

    A lead of well over one million votes is not insignificant, and if this turns out to be the case on Dec. 16, Trump will be a president without a national mandate.

    Aarond Reply:

    The “mandate” stuff is such absolute fucking bullshit. It’s damage control being done by the mainstream media and establishment to ignore reality. They are fantasizing that the GOP (which will have complete control of the national government on Jan 20th) will chose not advance key Republican policies (such as an ACA repeal, NFA repeal or immigration quotas).

    To be clear, I only suggest above that Trump might fund HSR because it has lukewarm GOP support (Newt, among others) and fits flush with his campaign narrative.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    His plan is to cut taxes by a yuge amount and spend gazillion dollars they won’t have because they cut taxes by a yuge amount. The same snake oil they have been selling since 1980.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well Nixon raised taxes… But that of course was only because the evil evil Congress…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Ooops… I meant Reagan, not Nixon…

    john burrows Reply:

    Poor choice of words—Trump won the election and that comes with an automatic mandate. But not sure how it will go with Trump if he does lose to Hillary by over a million votes.

    Aarond Reply:

    My comment is more directed against the MSM than towards you. The popular vote will probably determine what Trump is willing to tolerate out of Congress (personally I think a federal gay marriage or abortion ban is a no-go despite strong Congressional support) than what Trump himself pushes.

    Among the unanswered questions is how far will Trump go on infrastructure spending. WI, OH and IN are all HSR candidates, and all benefit from HSR in IL, PA, NJ and NY. CAHSR and NEC funding provide inroads to blue states, which won’t flip them but could prevent a Dem PV victory in 2020.

    Additionally if Trump really does kill free trade then freight will move from the Southwest back to the Rust Belt, which will cause congestion in NS’s Crescent Corridor (I-81) to become unmanageable without massive investment.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Face it Aarond, manufacturing jobs will never, ever come back. Prices will simply go up.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I still don’t understand why more people doing stuff they do not want and have to paid for to do at all (the definition of work) is a good thing. I for one think that any system that does not consider less work a good thing has to be changed. After all, it is one of the constants of human existence to produce more stuff by doing less work. Ever since we first invented agriculture, we tried to get more bang for our work buck. So if less work is bad, the system is bad.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I read an article in the economist a while back that said that people are doing far more work than is actually productive. I suppose the solution is a shorter work week, more vacations, and/or more stock ownership.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A shorter work week and more vacations are certainly good ideas. Democrats should champion ballot measures to that effect. Judging by minimum wage initiatives, they have a good chance of passing. And they can get out the vote for midterms and off year elections.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    are you going to force them to take it

    http://www.projecttimeoff.com/news/press-releases/americans-waste-record-setting-658-million-vacation-days

    American’s already leave a lot of vacation on the table. Let me guess, fines for not taking vacations.

    I have infinite vacation, I can take as many days as I like. I dont take more than 10 days a year and usually less

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well there is a real cultural difference between most of Europe and the US when it comes to vacation and I see that as a problem. But maybe we could do the following: Don’t fine the workers, fine the company: For every day out of the legally prescribed minimum vacation amount not taken, the company has to pay a fine of x which goes to… I don’t know, cancer research. You’d probably have the company sending out holiday brochures to its employers in no time. And it would give America’s national parks a much needed boost if after Trump all the retired Germans stop coming.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Or…we could respect people’s right to choose. Just spitballing here but perhaps we should not force people to do anything.

    Americans are more productive than Europe, that’s a choice, not a mistake

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They don’t take them because their workalcoholic managers intimidate them into not taking them.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Americans are not more productive than Europeans. At the very least not per hour actually worked. Spending more hours in the office is actually counter-productive from almost every angle you look at it.

    Trust me, I have been paid to “be there” enough to tell you being paid by presence rather than by work actually done does not exactly encourage people to get the same amount of work done faster.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    yes they are (with a shout out to Norway and Luxomberg)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_hour_worked

    beat Germany by 15%. Big gap after the US on the list

    I give my employees as much time off as they want. Even if they “go negative” on vacation hours. They all have more than 100 hours saved up. Its a choice

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    PPP assessments benefit the US unduly because a lot of jobs (waiters and waitresses for one) are paid a pittance which makes some things (e.g. eating out) cheaper but unaffordable to this vast underclass…

    john burrows Reply:

    I took a look at the New York Times Live Presidential Forecast for all of the states and the estimate is that 44 states have have counted 99% or more of their votes for president. The six states that have not reached 99%

    California——————-3,684,000 uncounted votes
    Washington State——–1,197,000
    Colorado———————361,000
    Utah————————–217,000
    Oregon———————–152,000
    Connecticut——————-71,000

    My guess from yesterday is that California alone will add 1,000,000 votes to the current Clinton lead of 200,000 popular votes. The other five states, (taking into account a subtraction from Utah) should add roughly another 250,000, bringing Clinton’s win in the popular vote to somewhere around 1,450,000 votes or about 1.2%.

    Some time in December we will get a look at the final vote count, and as we all know. whatever the final Clinton margin in the popular vote, it is not going matter that much.

    But what if the opposite had happened with Clinton winning the electoral vote and Trump winning the popular vote by 1,450,000?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Protests with people screaming “she is not my president” most likely. The difference is the press would be savaging those protestors not canonizing them.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    But their mobility scooters batteries would eventually run down.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The GOP very much appreciates the myth that the Republican voters are all old white men and women who will eventually die as it allows the GOP to keep racking up wins while the Democrats keep waiting for the “inevitable” demographic shift.

    I feel honor bound, however to point out the following, just to give you a sporting chance. In the last 8 years, with a popular President leading the party, the Democrats have lost a historic number of seats at the federal and state levels. I wont bother to count them up, but this article provides a helpful visual and percentage display.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/10/the-decimation-of-the-democratic-party-visualized/

    So thanks again, for sitting around and just waiting for everyone to vote for the Democrats, we in the GOP appreciate it.

    PS. It is just a nasty rumor that people continue to get older so the percentage of “old people” remains relatively constant. Don’t believe the hype, you just keep on with the strategy.

    joe Reply:

    Not sure that you did anything but sit around waiting for everyone to vote and the GOP GOTV wasn’t as large or organized.

    The Trump victory dance tells me it’s all about trolling liberzs and the coeds. Dance away dude.

    Data tells me the GOP lost the popular vote.

    History tells me the GOP Wilson won against Brown and anti-immigrant prop187 passed. Lots of dancing back then too. Lot’s of tollz and ha-ha.

    It’s a never ending battle to be more inclusive and share social benefits. Childless nerds batter hope they have a large nest egg and do not rip-me-off clause with Wall-Street cause the safety net is at risk. Kids take care of their parents.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    its ok joe, I know it takes time to work through the stages of grief. I am not happy Trump won either

    But the Democratic Party decline in the USA is a fact, there is overwhelming data on it. Living in the echo chanber of CA insulates you from the reality outside its borders

    Joe Reply:

    Like I wrote above, it’s about trolling people.

    I am not happy Trump won either

    He’s the de facto head of the GOP. He’s empowered white supremacists and they will purge the party and complete the alt-right take over.

    Dems lost this election like we lost when Wilson beat Brown using prop187 which also passed.

    If we do not t lose our republic to the authoritarians, the backlash will follow CA’s rejection of GOP racism.

    It’s about keeping our dignity.

    Joe Reply:

    Hillary won the majority of popular votes. More votes were cast for Dems than Republicans.
    Dying party appealed to darkest elements and desperation. Unable to produce results, they’ll double down on racist scapegoating. Look for them to change the rules to maintain power.

    Yuck yuck let the grief sink in. You’re funny.

    Aarond Reply:

    And change the rules they will. I fully expect a return of immigration quotas and harsh punishments for employers not hiring American now. The jnew US border will make the berlin wall look laughable.

    Joe Reply:

    Voting disenfranchisement is job one. Felons unable to vote ever again. Strict ID, fewer polling places and long lines.

    Already some are walking back from the wall- Gingrich I think.

    Power has to be flexed and they’re going to change the rules including picking supreme court judges to rule most of the new deal programs are unconstitutional. Congress doesn’t have to vote on anything unpopular.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Let me know when you can say “President Donal J Trump is the 45th President of the United States”

    When you can get there you have gotten to acceptance, until then arguing with you is just like listening to a bunch of jumbled up phrases with no narrative.

    Hilary spent twice the money on this race as Trump. It was not money

    Hilary lost tens of thousands of votes in districts that voted overwhelmingly for Obama. One example, she had 70,000 fewer votes in Detroit than Obama…and she only lost Michigan by 12,000 votes. It was not disenfranchisement, Hilary could not get people to get excited about voting for her.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/opinion/what-i-got-wrong-about-the-election.html

    Joe Reply:

    At his inaguration.

    Voting tallies show Dems got more votes. Waste your time trying to tell me whose votes counted more then or now. Trump got fewer votes, GOP as a party got fewer.

    Your guy win now enjoy it. Get a red hat.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Trump is not “my guy” I have been consistent in my opposition to him and now that he has been elected I remain in opposition to him. He is unfit for office, but he was elected.

    But as usual, your assertions are misrepresentations

    1. Yes, Clinton received more votes. Because CA went 62% for her, a huge landslide. Trump didnt run any ads or compete against her in CA because it was just a waste of money. He played to the rules as they were presented, not the “Joe made up ” rules. Has it occured to you that if popular vote is what counted, he would have changed his strategy?

    2. the Dems received more votes in the Senate races. And again, this is entirely because of CA. In CA the senate race had 2 democrats and 0 republicans. So that skewed the results. As explained in the article below, it is also skewed because the GOP does well in small states with less population

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/11/10/democrats-won-popular-vote-senate-too/93598998/

    3. Also in the above story, the GOp has a 3 million vote advantage in US House races, which you fail to acknowledge

    its all explained in this article

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2016/11/11/memo-to-liberals-republicans-won-the-house-popular-vote-n2244365

    But I am sure this will all fall on deaf ears. SO go sit in the corner and repeat how you won the popular vote over and over again, the GOP will just keep winning the seats at the state and federal level insted

    Joe Reply:

    tl;dr
    Troll cheering for GOP insists he’s not a supporter … but he’s cheering.

    Aarond Reply:

    I agree with everything he said, and I am certainly not a Trump supporter. But it is true that the Democrats lost fair and square, and that the GOP have the better long term strategy. If the GOP holds onto their gains in 2018 and 2020, they will effectively return the nat’l government into a one party operation.

    Which is why Democrats need to remove their heads from their asses and embrace economic progressivism. They only have two elections (48 months) left.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @John N. Which states parties win or lose shouldn’t matter. States are just arbitrary administrative divisions drawn on the maps, and doesn’t change the fact that Democrats won more votes than Republicans.

    @Aarond If economic progressivism includes protectionist populism, them I’m leaving the Democrats.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I support the GOP, I just dont support Trump. They are not one in the same. In fact my fall back position is that GOP members I can trust are put in positions of power (which is probably not going to happen but I can hope).

    Those arbitrary lines, and they are arbitrary, determine the representation. So they are very important arbitrary lines.

    This is a chess game. And the GOP is playing at a higher level. It actually started with Regan who realized that packing yound people on the supreme court was a strategy that will help the consertative cause for decades…and it has

    The GOP has maximized the return on investment given the current rules and “arbitrary lines”. and the Dems have played right into it by concentrating the population on the coasts. They have abandoned the middle of the country.

    You are like a player saying “but I took your queen…i cant lose” Its about the Checkmate, not the pieces lost.

    PS. Thanks Aarond. But from the reaction to this election, it does not appear the Dems are pulling out their heads. I shutter to think how hard the Dems would be to beat if they concentrated on just the minimum wage, increasing taxes on the top 20%, and a universal basic income. They might take all the states, but they are too disjointed to pull it off.

    Joe Reply:

    “I rationalize trolling by not taking responsibility for my beliefs.”

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I don’t disagree that trump legally won the election, but I disagree with the laws that made this possible.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The loss of state level seats to the GOP is a real and troubling phenomenon. Especially as it is (mostly) disconnected from the popular vote. And the more the GOP controls states, the more they can gerryander this into permanence. We already have seen that winning the popular vote for President and House of Representatives is not enough any more. We might wake up one day and find ourselves in a government of the minority over the majority. Only it will be so deviously done that short of unconstitutional action nothing can be done.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Name 1 belief I have not taken responsibility for? I have been accused of a lot of things but I am no hypocrite and I don’t flip flop (2 more reasons I dislike Trump as he does both often).

  28. Joe
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 21:49
    #28

    Morgan Hill HSR

    The four alignment options are described as:

    • At grade, on a berm, along Monterey Road or adjacent (on the east side) of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks;

    • Elevated, in a viaduct, along Monterey Road or adjacent (on the east side) of the UPRR;

    • Elevated in a viaduct along the west side of U.S. 101;

    • Elevated in a viaduct along the east side of U.S. 101.

    The viaducts in the elevated options would rise 30 to 60 feet above the ground.

    Roland Reply:

    Wait until you hear about alignments 5 and 6!

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    ?

  29. John Nachtigall
    Nov 9th, 2016 at 23:28
    #29

    very interesting article on threefiftyeight

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-a-difference-2-percentage-points-makes/

    “What would have happened if just 1 out of every 100 voters shifted from Trump to Clinton? That would have produced a net shift of 2 percentage points in Clinton’s direction. And instead of the map you see above, we’d have wound up with this result in the Electoral College instead: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida flip back to Clinton, giving her a total of 307 electoral votes.”

    put another way, if she could have pulled the “third” parties, she could have won going away. Such a close thing.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    the third party vote wasn’t enough in those states.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    combined 3% in Florida (kudos to Google for the excellent and simple results tracker) more than enough

    5.5% in Wisconsin
    same 5.5% in Michigan

    There was enough votes to matter in those states

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    This really is 2000 all over again. As Marx said in his 18 Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (look it up) “Everything in history happens twice. First as tragedy, then as farce” (I paraphrased a bit there). By the way, the date of November 8, 2016 in the French Revolutionary calendar? 18 Brumaire. No joke.

  30. StevieB
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 01:26
    #30

    Atherton has spent more than $145,000 fighting California High-Speed Rail and Caltrain electrification and it’s considering spending even more.

    The total cost is $145,550 and comprises $118,135 for Capitol Advocates, a Sacramento-based consulting firm, for help with legislative, regulatory and other high-speed rail issues; $22,415 for attorney Stuart Flashman for legal services in both high-speed rail and Caltrain cases; and $5,000 for the California Rail Foundation, which is advocating for a rail route that does not include the Peninsula.

    A state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 28. , which goes into effect Jan. 1, modifies how the California High-Speed Rail Authority can spend money from the 2008 bond measure approved by voters to pay for high-speed rail. Atherton Rail Committee made a recommendation to sue the state over the new law. Councilman Cary Wiest said he is “disappointed that no other jurisdiction with a lot more money” isn’t taking on the issue.

    Atherton should sue as soon as possible to resolve the issue legally.

    agb5 Reply:

    If some new Federal infrastructure funds are given to CA, Caltrain electrification the the perfect shovel-ready project to spend them on, making the Prop1A legal challenge moot.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They aren’t going to have the money. The Trump tax plan is “cut everything except defense and medicare”.

    Eric Reply:

    The infrastructure money is going to be highway-only. No transit funding.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If they get their way there won’t be any money.

    Aarond Reply:

    I’m not so certain about that. If one thing is for certain, Trump will make it rain money in Manhattan and this means Gateway Tunnels, Empire Corridor HSR, an expanded Penn Station, NEC modernization and MTA repairs. To do this he’ll need other states voting for it, and four critical states that swung to him in the Rust Belt are all HSR candidates. CA has 55 votes and is a comparatively cheap/easy fix.

    There’s a window here. Not a big one, but I remain cautiously optimistic. The GOP just might (might) come around.

    Aarond Reply:

    A Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel seems plausible as well. Regardless of whatever happens in the rest of the country New York just won the lottery.

    StevieB Reply:

    Congressional funds are used to buy votes from constituents and the Republican House members are not going to send funds to Manhattan.

    Aarond Reply:

    Then Trump won’t sign off on it. It’s safe to assume that Trump will fight for his home town. This is especially true if Christie is given a major position.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Why would Congress want to veto a level of federal funding for NYC that is commensurate with the latter’s importance to the US economy? Transit usage is well documented and supported.

    It is returning tax funds to the local level based on contribution.

    synonymouse Reply:

    This is not Borden to Corcoran.

    StevieB Reply:

    Democrats Who Embrace the Trump Infrastructure Plan Are Suckers

    to expect enlightened transportation policy from the Trump administration is to ignore everything we know about the sources of his political power — rural areas and the suburbs — as well as the explicit policy ideas coming from his advisors and the Republican Party’s hostility to any transportation infrastructure that doesn’t move cars and trucks.

    Aarond Reply:

    Trump is handing out a tenuous olive branch. Now is the time to seize it and demand rail investment especially when rail investment is completely flush with Trump’s plan to revitalize American manufacturing. Most major industries (including oil and coal) want rail. It can be done but pushing the GOP off so early is a bad idea.

    Also, as we’ve seen here in California EIS’s are often more often a tool for NIMBYs than it is a tool to ensure accountability.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Oil wants pipelines. Coal is not coming back, nor manufacturing unless run by robots. Rail freight is in long term decline. Does not have a competitive product

    Aarond Reply:

    Railfreight is plenty competitive if you got 5 railcars (about 20 trucks) of product moving in and out every month. There is also the spread of containerization, which makes rail’s reach much greater (especially factoring in 20-ft containers for smaller operations). Compare the cost of a salaried long haul truck driver vs two local drivers paid by the hour.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Paul, that means we are going to see fewer class ones?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I used to curse people with a version of May you live in interesting times”. “May you be a railroad customer “. With a few exceptions they are the worst people in the world to deal with on a business level. Regardless of any theoretical advantage of the mode, that is all blown away by the institutions. Yes they are some good short lines but they need the class ones. Syn, I have no idea what may happen. Long slow declines can have many twists and turns.

    Aarond Reply:

    Comcast sucks too but I also enjoy having fast Internet.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Does Comcast have a monopoly where you live? And if you are satisfied with the product what is the point of your comment?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Try Sonic.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Maybe the solution to the institutional problems with railroads you describe is a new railroad that does not own any tracks. They handle all the talking to the Class Is and for that they can take a small markup for making moving around stuff much more hassle free. Or is there a reason beyond institutional inertia and running an old timey freight et goods railroad ™ for the Class Is to do stuff the way they do?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Ok I will play. Explain the economics to me

    Current state, the Class 1s own the track and the trains. They maintain the tracks at 0 profit. I am just going to make up a number, let’s say it costs $10 a mile.

    So your proposed state, a separate company owns it. They want to make a profit, so they charge $11 a mile to access the track.

    How do the Class 1s make more money?

    Your plan only makes sense if they did not own the tracks and did not have the capital, which is not the case

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    No, some company that is not the Class Is and does not own any tracks (so they have no incentive to e.g. take a long circuitous route because it’s on “their” tracks). They have the benefit of being able to handle the apparently tortuous process of dealing with Class Is themselves and for that they charge a markup. Just like back in the day a travel bureau would do. You pay them to deal with the hotels and the airlines and the railroads and the shipping lines for you and they deliver whatever vacation you asked them for. Often they can also get better rates because they buy in bulk.

    Flixbus, Germany’s biggest bus provider (and a company I vehemently loathe) works similar to that. They own next to no buses and obviously do not own any roads or bus stops. What they do is, they set timetables and have a booking platform and there you can buy a ticket for the 8:15 out of Lindau which is than run by Müller, Maier & Sohn Omnibusbetrieb 1935 GmbH who are either paid in bulk (i.e. they get money for every bus they run) or per passenger (i.e. an empty bus is their loss not Flixbus’). You may think such a system can never work, but they managed to outcompete and outlast British National Express, Megabus, Deutsche Post and Deutsche Bahn, all with more capital and arguably more experience in the biz.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i see, so you want to use the business model of a company you “loathe” Interesting

    and why do the class 1s give up their track and pay more again? What method will you use to force them to give up the track, because emanate domain requires a public need and non-existent companies having profit is not a public need.

    I see it as good for companies that dont currently exists, I am a little fuzzy on how it is good for the existing companies?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Where do I say the Class Is give up their tracks? And while Flixbus’ business model is part of why I hate them (you are never sure to get the bus you were promised, Postbus which used to own all its buses always delivered as promised), they have done other things like Ryanairesque blackmail of cities.

    My idea is basically this: The Class Is can acquire more customers, because someone is running trains over their tracks (and paying the same or even slightly more as other Class Is when they rent the tracks) but the customers can deal with a company that is much easier to deal with.

    Look, I do not know whether what has been said here about Class Is being a pain in the lower backside to deal with is accurate or fair. But if it is, this is due to one of three things a) railroads have to be run that way b) The Class Is as institutions have to be run that way (maybe due to their size or who knows what) or c) The Class Is are incompetent on some level.

    If a is true, there is no business case to be made. Because ultimately, my hypothetical railroad could not even sell the “product” of “same transport, less hassle” and people would go to the Class Is and cut out the middle man. but if either b or c is accurate, there is a place for this company.

    Now would the Class Is rent out their tracks? Maybe not. But I can see a lawsuit to ensure equal access to have some chance of success and it might even be passed as a law by Congress. Furthermore, the Class Is are already renting out tracks to other railroads (mostly each other, Amtrak and shortlines), so a system of how to handle it is in place already.

    In Germany the vast, vast majority of all tracks is owned by DB Netz. However, there are many different players in the freight business and there are several examples of a company that has to pay DB Netz for use of the track getting contracts that used to be done by whatever name the Cargo subsidiary of DB runs under at any given time (seriously, is it Railion? Schenker Rail? DB Cargo? Herbert Müller?). So either DB’s Cargo subsidiary has inbuilt “inefficiencies” (which may well be paying “too much”) or a company of a smaller size can just do some things better than a big company. And there are even some things that DB has ceased doing which were picked up by smaller railroads.

    So I do think there is at least the theoretic possibility of a railroad that does not own tracks, and maybe does not even own trains (those can be rented at least in theory) but does everything to ensure the goods of company A get to company B or from place X to place Y and they do it with much less hoops to jump through than the Class Is. I am sure some customers would be interested in such an option. There might even be those that would pay more, because the Class Is would just be too much hassle and trucking would be more expensive.

    But hey, I am no expert, so what do I know?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    You are clearly no expert, and know nothing. Why post?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    there is going to be a lawsuit to force the class 1s to let people use their private tracks? Based on what? That one private company can seize the use of another private companies property because…reasons??

    There are already shipping and logistics companies that do what you describe. They make sure packages get from point A to point B. UPS, Fedex, etc. They dont rent track, they sub-contract with the class 1s.

    zorro Reply:

    I’m surprised no one, besides Me, has acknowledged the expanded Panama Canal, railroads in decline, made Me think of the Canal, since they can handle bigger ships now, and ports back east are either building intermodal facilities, or like the FECR (Florida East Coast Rwy), has already built a container handling facility, at least from what I’ve read from trade news sources…

    Roland Reply:

    What would we do without you, zorro? BTW, I brought this up at MTC last year and the response was that the widened canal was not having any impact on shipping and the associated railroad activity in Northern California (so far).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well in the European Union there is this principle of “access without discrimination” to the railroad infrastructure. Which means that big railroads cannot just exclude small railroads from their trackage.

    Now we all know the Class Is rent tracks to one another, correct?

    So clearly a Class I giving different conditions to another railroad for the access to its tracks would be a textbook case of “discrimination”. Now the only question is: Is this legal?

    If it is, there is a good case to be made to change that law, as arbitrarily restricting the access to what could and should function as public-ish infrastructure (like the internet, in essence what I am asking for is “net neutrality” on the railroad) is both inefficient and unjust.

    If however the Class Is can arbitrarily make their network a Class I only club, how do the shortlines get anything anywhere?

    And besides, the Class Is have – ceteris paribus – a natural interest for more stuff to be moved along their tracks. The more stuff they can move along their tracks, the less time those tracks sit idle and the more spread out the fixed costs are. So why would they want to deny access to their tracks?

    Maybe I am bad at explaining myself and maybe this exact business model already exists, but… yanknow?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    No, I understand what you are describing. The cell phone market uses it. The “class1s” own the networks and there are small companies (metroPCS, cricket, US cellular) that rent those networks.

    I understand the businesss model. I don’t agree it helps anyone in this case

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Bahnfreund, Class 1s do not “rent tracks to one another” in the way that I think you understand, i.e. as some kind of entitlement. The law and history of trackage rights as they are known is a big subject, but as simply put as I can these rights are specific to certain routes or locations and between specific parties. Very often this is the result of provisions put in place by the STB or its predecessor the ICC to provide competitive service as the result of a merger or line abandonment.
    All railroads, class I and shortline, interchange traffic with one another, and share the revenue. That’s how they “get anything anywhere”. The problem for shippers is in the process of negotiating that division of revenue the individual roads’ requirements end up with a number higher than is competitive with truck. That doesn’t even begin to address the question of who provides the cars and how are they compensated. Add in the usual delay during the physical interchange, and the lack of single party accountability for the transaction and it’s a less than satisfactory picture for the shipper.
    There is no easy solution. With a preponderance of single track it’s not realistic to have large numbers of operators with short trains roaming around. Most of Europe can accommodate additional traffic, especially overnight with multiple track and high capacity signal systems.
    This is why so much traffic has converted to intermodal, to simplify the transaction, and to enable traffic to be moved in unit trains. But intermodal needs high cost, high volume terminals which excludes it from a lot of heartland traffic, or else requires drayage moves of hundreds of miles. So while intermodal is successful between say L.A. and Chicago it’s not so great between rural areas and/or smaller cities. And yes, the rural areas generate a lot of traffic, inbound and outbound, for agriculture and basic industries.
    I don’t see a ready solution for BNSF and UP in particular should they lose a lot of long haul international container business and coal. It will be very difficult to make up the revenue from other sources. Others may differ…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So why not have a system more in line with Europe? The railroads can set any track access charge they see fit (within reason and regulation) but whoever pays it (within reason and regulation) can use the tracks.

    Why have this byzantine and feudalistic system where you have to have ye olde trackage right ™ to use a certain piece of track instead of a simple: Same rules for all tracks everywhere and access without discrimination system?

    Roland Reply:

    Ever wondered why the amount of freight carried by rail in Europe is a fraction of that in the US?

    Bdawe Reply:

    Roland – Superior coastal and inland waterways compared to the United States and Canada account for a huge part of that.

    The Swiss, as a counter example have, wedged in between all those precisely timed, takt-scheduled, #2 in the world modal-share passenger trains, a railfreight mode-share similar to that of the United States, as do Austria and Sweden

  31. les
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 06:19
    #31

    6 year old tweet:

    Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
    The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.
    9:45 PM – 6 Nov 2012

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    He better not forget he said that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well it has happened that people eliminated the unfair systems that allowed their own rise. But there is a reason why those things are considered remarkable: They’re rare.

    john burrows Reply:

    According to CBS News that 4 year old tweet was part of a Trump Tweet Storm that began at 8:29 PM on election night. Trump must have been listening to election returns and apparently became enraged when early results were showing Obama winning more electoral votes, and Romney at that point leading in the popular vote.

    The tweets in chronological order:

    8:29 PM—We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!

    8:30 PM—Let’s fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us.

    8:33 PM—This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.

    8:39 PM—Our country is now in serious and unprecedented trouble…like never before.

    8:45 PM—The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.

    8:47 PM—Hopefully the House of Representatives can hold our country together for four more years…stay strong and never give up!

    8:54 PM—House of Representatives shouldn’t give anything to Obama unless he terminates Obamacare.

    And from a tweet that Trump later deleted—“He (Obama) lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country”

    So here we are, four years later, and it is Trump who won the the majority of the electoral vote and Clinton who is going to win the popular vote by well over a million.

    My only comment would be that we all might be better off if the Republicans could find a way to impose upon Trump a lifetime ban from Twitter.

    john burrows Reply:

    I accidentally combined Trump’s 8:45 tweet with his 8:33 tweet. Trump said that “The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy” only in his 8:45 tweet, and not at 8:33.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I was wondering how his tweet came about.

    I did not know there was a time during the 2012 election when a popular electoral split seemed likely.

    Well, maybe Trump is not yet riddled with Alzheimer like his father was in his last years and maybe he remembers how he felt in 2012 when he thought the electoral college had given something to someone who in his mind should not have gotten it.

  32. J. Wong
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 07:26
    #32

    Given what has happened in Kansas, how long until the Trump recession begins?

    Aarond Reply:

    Spring, that’s when lackluster holiday sales numbers will come out and investors panic. It’s also when Trump will make a go at killing free trade (assuming he actually does). Make no mistake: SF will get hit the hardest. The tech boom has run it’s course, and Trump winning was a huge repudiation of the big data SV is built upon. This is especially true if he cracks down on “libel”, and makes it easier for tabloids to get sued.

    But such a thing was probably going to happen anyway.

  33. morris brown
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 08:45
    #33

    Governor’s bullet trains might not be made in America

    Aarond Reply:

    Link to said waiver:

    http://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0991

    I strongly urge everyone to use the 20-day comment period to inform the FRA that Siemens, a world class HSR manufacturer, has a factory capable of building the trains in 7464 French Rd, Sacramento CA 95828. The factory is already building electric ACS-64s, which are to be used on the Northeast Corridor and a few months ago Siemens build a mockup unit and presented it to Californian legislators in front of the state capital.

    Joe Reply:

    The State always planned to get a waiver and imbed high-speed rail authority staff at the foreign manufacturer’s plant to learn how to do quality control and construction oversight of high-speed rail train sets.

    I haven’t seen the source document and don’t know if this plan is being misinterpreted.

    Joe Reply:

    The time CA asked for a buy US waiver when CA and Amtrak were looking for a joint train set.

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.govtech.com/transportation/California-Looks-for-Manufacturers-to-Build-High-Speed-Train-Sets.html%3FAMP?client=safari
    “Earlier this year, Amtrak and the California rail authority applied to the Federal Railroad Administration for waivers from Buy America regulations to allow each agency to acquire their first two prototype train sets from overseas manufacturers. Those requests, however, appear to be moot now that the two train agencies are going their separate ways on bids. Alley said the state has not determined if it will need to seek a waiver from the FRA for prototypes under this purchase process.”

    William Reply:

    I agree with the waiver. The HSR components are even more specialized than the ones used in the currently US-produced locomotives or EMU.

    I don’t doubt that the current suppliers to Siemens, Kawasaki, Alstrom, who makes or had made EMU in the US, would eventually be able to make the same components as foreign suppliers, but the quantity and quality are just not there yet.

    Having said this, I also wouldn’t mind trainsets with higher local content be given some advantage in bid awarding, as long as there is a good QA and a cap in price difference.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Wasn’t the Buy America requirement for a RRIF loan the major reason that the Xpress West project came apart? Why should a private company taking out a loan be treated differently than a government agency taking grants and other tax monies? We either have an honest and fair Buy America program that treats all projects the same, or we get rid of it. This request by the CHSRA blows a big hole in the arguments of supporters and of the authority previously that the CA HSR project would help create a HSR industry in this country.

    Siemens has spent money on developing a manufacturing center in CA for passenger trains with plans for HSR capabilities in the future. This waiver appears to eliminate any potential assembly of HSR trains in Sacramento. It is ironic that a private Florida pasenger rail project is giving Californians jobs when their own state agencies are requesting the jobs be sent to europe or asia!

    Joe Reply:

    Rail Loans are established and governed by congesssional law. Executive branch can’t remove that legal requirement. CA got an ARRA award which isn’t Leglislature to have buy American req. FRA can waiver thier buy American Requirement.

  34. Reality Check
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 09:35
    #34

    Atherton may sue, again, over high-speed rail

    Atherton has spent more than $145,000 fighting both the state’s plans to put high-speed rail through the middle of town, and Caltrain’s plans to electrify its trains, which the town says is clearing the way for high-speed rail. Now, it’s considering spending even more.

    At a Nov. 2 study session, Atherton’s City Council discussed participating in a lawsuit challenging a state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 28.

    The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, modifies how the California High-Speed Rail Authority can spend money from the 2008 bond measure approved by voters to pay for high-speed rail.

    Most of the council members agreed with the town’s Rail Committee recommendation to sue the state over the new law, but they expressed reservations.

    Councilman Mike Lempres, a former Rail Committee member and an attorney, called the new law a “pretty clear violation” of the terms approved by voters.

    […]

    [City Attorney Bill] Conners’ staff report says the 2008 bond measure restricted spending to only “usable segments” of rail that could accommodate high-speed trains when completed.

    The new law redefines “usable segments,” and the town’s Rail Committee said it unconstitutionally changes the bond measure substantially without a public vote.

    State law allows lawsuit discussions to be closed to the public, but City Manager George Rodericks said the council wanted public input in the discussion. No one from the public commented.

    Joe Reply:

    Councilman Cary Wiest said he is “disappointed that no other jurisdiction with a lot more money” isn’t taking on the issue, calling the new law “a method they’ve come up with to get around the voters.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    Atherton is wasting its time and money as this election reconfirms Jerry Brown’s iron-fisted control of the State and its judiciary. Atherton will lose.

    On the other hand broad-gauge BART-MTC-ABAG is emerging from the election even more powerful than ever and deeply resents Caltrain. I am sure BART would love to exploit unhappiness on the Peninsula but perhaps they missed their chance with Prop 1a. They got end-runned on that one.

    It certainly looks to this observer Caltrain-HSR will remain extremely contentious on the Peninsula and the possibility of some big future economic disruption makes the situation even more mercurial.

    Roland Reply:

    I happen to think that Atherton have a pretty darn good case and would actually contribute to an achievable SJ to Transbay in 30 minutes if they win.

    synonymouse Reply:

    If they pay off the judge.

    The judges read the paper too and they see what a lock on power Jerry Brown and his patronage machine have as demonstrated by tuesday’s election. Besides everybody and his hamster and every burg down the line would want a tunnel also.

    J. Wong Reply:

    That’s been the argument for most of the lawsuits that have been filed and ruled against so far. What makes this one different?

  35. John Nachtigall
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 10:00
    #35

    Trump released his first 100 day platform, its….ambitious?? First in the tilting at windmills category, term limits for US Representatives and Senators.

    HSR did not make the list.

    http://www.npr.org/2016/11/09/501451368/here-is-what-donald-trump-wants-to-do-in-his-first-100-days

    This is going to be a painful 4 years. Withdrawal from NAFTA?? ugh! I wish the electorate has chosen a less disruptive way to make their point, but I suppose that was the purpose is to make it disruptive.

    Aarond Reply:

    Bush and Obama could have cracked down on asian offshoring but it never happened. Nobody was willing to challenge the status quo, causing people to get desperate. It’s ultimately a good thing, though.

    The broader question (especially for Amtrak) is how it will effect the US rail network. If 1,000,000+ jobs come back home, where will they go and how will their products get to market? I reckon Midwestern states are going to boom, because they’re already America’s rail hub.

    Aarond Reply:

    This also posits are more interesting question: factories require power. With the rise of modular nuclear power, will states back east go nuclear? Obviously the oil lobby wants NG everything but that situation can only exist if there’s an oil tariff and domestic energy prices are sufficiently high.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Funny thing is that the Chinese have evidently announced a 20% increase in coal fired power plants.

    You have to wonder why the ruling elite there is reluctant to go nuclear. Fear of incompetence or laxness as at Fukushima? My best guess is paranoia about terrorism or sabotage.

    But I do see all the major countries moving towards a war-preparedness footing. The population explosion and commercial competition is increasing tensions. All the big countries will want to protect their fuel supplies in the event of a real conflict.

    Aarond Reply:

    Because nuclear is harder than NG and has higher capital costs. Moreover the new left still loves the idea of everyone making their own power through solar, because they are still under the impression that (suburban) home ownership is a thing most Americans are still capable of.

    It’s laziness on the part of bureaucrats combined with cooperate greed. But between the Saudi price dumping and Trump winning things could change if an oil tariff actually happens.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Nuclear costs too much. Coal costs too much. Natural gas will cost too much very soon.

    Roland Reply:

    Elon will save planet Earth (unless he makes it to Mars first).

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Aarond, quit being selfish about NAFTA and trade. It helps many times more people than it hurts.

  36. Reality Check
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 10:12
    #36

    German consortium to invest almost €3bn in Russian HSR

    A consortium of major German companies is ready to provide €2.7 billion to construct the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railroad, according to the Vice President of Russian Railways Alexander Misharin. Initially the sum proposed was €2 billion.

    Germany’s Siemens is part of the consortium and has said it is ready to manufacture rolling stock for the route. The company wants to provide an enhanced version of its high-speed Sapsan train for the new line. Siemens’ Sapsan trains currently operate on the Moscow to St. Petersburg line.

    The route from Moscow to Kazan is planned as part of a network of high-speed lines to be built by 2018 when Russia hosts the FIFA World Cup. Kazan will be one of the Russian cities hosting the tournament.
    The cost of the 770 kilometer Moscow-Kazan link is estimated at $21.4 billion. It will stretch through seven regions of Russia, reducing the current 12-hour journey time from Moscow to the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan to just three and half hours.

    The ambitious project has already attracted interest from China which plans to put in up to $6 billion.

    […]

    The trains will be able to reach speeds of 400 kilometers [249 miles] per hour. The average annual passenger traffic is estimated at about 200 million people.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    We’re at late 2016 already. Getting this done by mid 2018 sounds… ambitious…

  37. synonymouse
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 10:14
    #37

    This is good – it will clear away the bs and demonstrate the 2 parties are virtually identical and that Wall St. had utterly co-opted the Democratic Party.

    Eventually the Bernieboys will come to see TeaParty hicks are not their real opponents but superrich “liberal” poseurs., the 1% wanting to become the .1%.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    You’re wrong in every way.

  38. Wells
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 10:18
    #38

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fvo_iOuSck
    Needed listening over and over and over and over…

  39. morris brown
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 11:51
    #39

    The next really big question will be who will Trump select as head of the DOT.

    Anybody hear rumors of who he will pick?

    BTW, Darrell Issa appears to have won his race.

    Eric M Reply:

    So now you are on to the DOT pick, as your hopes are gone with Prop 53? Just laughable, as you go from one thing, or writer, to the next in hopes to stave off HSR.

    synonymouse Reply:

    HSR has already been staved off – by Jerry Brown. You are getting regional commute.

    Roland Reply:

    I think that “Rapid Rail” sounds better than “Regional Commute”.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Current speculation

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/who-is-in-president-trump-cabinet-231071

    DOT not listed, but the rumor on interior is a oil executive

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    That is a terrifying list.

    Roland Reply:

    Oil trains anyone? How about Keystone XL?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Frac and drill will be the order of the day. KY and WV miners who voted in large numbers for their messiah will find themselves so much industrial waste.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Nothing new for the “old country”. Remember the Cuyahoga River caught fire. In Akron in the fifties after a summer shower the cars would have black soot on them, carbon black from the rubber factories.

    Roland Reply:

    So did David Valadao and Jeff Denham.

    StevieB Reply:

    Trump has picked Martin Whitmer, chairman of the lobbying firm Whitmer and Worrall which represents the National Asphalt Paving Association, to head his “transportation and infrastructure” transition team.

    zorro Reply:

    Um, No Issa has not won yet, there are still mail in ballots to count, the gap is 4086 votes according to CNN.

  40. morris brown
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 15:52
    #40

    On Nov 15th, the Santa Clara County supervisors are having an item on the agenda regarding High Speed rail.

    http://sccgov.iqm2.com/citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=14&ID=7570&Inline=True

    It is item #21 on this very long agenda.

    Roland Reply:

    Here is the link to the actual agenda item: http://sccgov.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?Frame=SplitView&MeetingID=7204&MediaPosition=&ID=83845&CssClass=

    Roland Reply:

    Video link: http://sccgov.iqm2.com/Citizens/SplitView.aspx?Mode=Video&MeetingID=7204&Format=Agenda
    Item #21 starts around the 4:29:30 mark.

  41. Brian_FL
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 17:07
    #41

    Hyperloop fever reappears in Dubai. Elon Musk, the guy who can’t seem to master the manufacturing of automobiles, is peddling his vapor ware idea of hyperloop to Dubai. When will this idea ever be put to rest? Why not use a maglev to cover the 100 miles? At least maglev actually has working systems already built and tested. Or better yet, why not HSR.

    http://www.bbc.com/autos/story/20161110-would-you-sit-in-a-pod-going-150kph

    Roland Reply:

    What a load of BS. “Neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk is affiliated with any Hyperloop companies. While we are not developing a commercial Hyperloop ourselves, we are interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional Hyperloop prototype.” http://www.spacex.com/hyperloop

    Hyperloop One is nothing more than yet another Silicon Valley Unicorn about to self-implode.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well if you can’t make it there, you can’t make it anywhere, as they say…

  42. Roland
    Nov 10th, 2016 at 19:02
    #42

    Calexit referendum is on the way: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article113790243.html

    Aarond Reply:

    people will forget about this in ~2 weeks (if even that)

    though, hopefully this compels a SOJ51 referendum (which, should it happen, would make California 2/3rds blue)

    Roland Reply:

    You will get a reminder in 2 weeks.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Don’t give in to this. It is defeatist, and I’m not going to give up on the rest of our beautiful nation. California could thrive on its own, but it is up to us to fight for a more just nation, not just split away and let everyone else live in squalor. Don’t give up hope.
    #StrongerTogether

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/10/politics/calexit-donald-trump/index.html.
    It’s either that or proportional representation. Take your pick.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    ok lets be done with this

    First, nowhere in that article is there any evidence that interest is growing

    More importantly, I want you to go in record as saying that you belive California will succeed. Because no, there are not 2 choices, there is a 3rd choice, status quo, and that is the choice that will be made

    No one is moving to Canada
    No state is suceceeding from the union
    We are not giving the middle of the country back to France

    in short, none of the stupid, inane, and most importantly, un-funny things people are saying will happen

    So either go on record with a prediciton of STFU

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Nothing in politics is ever truly impossible. People thought about so many things that they could never happen… Until they did. But I agree, Californian secession is a bad idea. I’d much rather have the North American Union of the Lower 48 and Canada (fuck Alaska) and the restored Kingdom of Hawaii ;-)

    Roland Reply:

    We are definitely on the right track: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-37965089

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Not to be racist or anything, but “Farage” is a pretty un-British name…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I obviously pick proportional representation.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You do know that would mean the end of the two party system sooner or later, right?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Sure. I’m fine with that. I tend to agree with the new Democrat wing of my party and am generally represented by them just fine, but I believe that people should be represented by people who share their views. One of my biggest problems with the American government is it isn’t based on coalitions of smaller parties, which deincentivises compromise. The great thing with coalitions is that they represent everyone, while generally ending up reaching centerist consensus that aligns with my views.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The thing is: The American system is supposed to produce shifting coalitions; Some senators like Amtrak, so they build a pro-Amtrak bloc on one thing, but they disagree on guns so other blocs form on guns. In theory this is a good system ensuring everybody gets what they want. Unfortunately money in politics and gerrymandering increasingly destroy this and the increasing polarization of the Republican party is doing the rest.

    In a parliamentary system there are permanent coalitions. After each election, two or three parties get together and hash out a program for the next four (or five) years. That program is not necessarily what the majority wants or even what the majority of the coalition wants. For instance, the current “Grand Coalition” in Germany has to get a ridiculously bad toll law passed that likely violates European law, just because the CSU of Bavaria wants to have a toll “on foreigners” (their wording, not mine). They want to get a toll passed and lower taxes on cars by the same amount for locals. Unfortunately, they put their foot down so in some truly bizarre compromise building it got put into the coalition treaty in the hopes that the EU would overturn it. Only the EU somehow did not declare it illegal after all.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I am in favor of a toll, but this toll is the epitomy of stupidity. And it would never have passed in a free up or down vote. But the coalition treaty is the supreme law of the land for as long as the coalition exists.

    This of course means that the vast majority of all parliamentary debates are window dressing and the vast majority of all parliamentary votes are a foregone conclusion.

    Quite ironical to call it a “parliamentary system”, actually.

    I would like to have the best of both world, the inherent stability of parliamentary systems and the open debate a system like the US should produce, but I fear this is impossible.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Split the State and give Jerry to SoCal.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Remind me what is bad about SoCal and/or Jerry again.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry’s gone Hollywood.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Which means…..?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Who knows…

    john burrows Reply:

    When California leaves the USA, the State of Jefferson,( formed from a number of counties bordering Oregon), will leave California. Jefferson will be Trump country, and its citizens will be more than happy to be represented in the US Congress by politicians who live in their state and understand their local needs.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The United States already has Alabama and Mississippi why would it want another batch of welfare queens?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    It would be cruel to leave Oregon and Washington out. Call the nation cascadicalifornia. Of course, we could just take everything from the Rockies west, but that would leave Denver out. Oh screw it, the USA is #StrongerTogether.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If the evil evil coasts seceded, the remaining place would very quickly learn the hard way what the rest of the world considers “real America” to be.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    1st, and most importantly, that is the dumbest same ever.

    2nd, and slightly less important, the last states that tried to succeed, we burned a 100+ mile path to the sea. Do you really think the US, under Trump no less, would allow succession? Giving up the Pacific Coast? Just stop with this talk, it’s just as ridiculous as thinking there will be 37 faithless electors

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    That should read “dumbest name ever”

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I literally said I don’t want secession–I was just making a sarcastic remark to how there is a lot of blue America beyond California that might be getting the secession bug too, and I believe that we are stronger together, and I want to fight to overcome this irrational populist bug that has caught on here because I care about people all around the country and I think we should collectively try to make a better nation for us all. I don’t think rich successful states should bail on everywhere else, tempting as it may be.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Getting rid of the electoral college would be one of many ways to increase the thinking about the US as a singular not a collection of states that just happen to share a President.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    But you agree it is a stupid name right?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    sure. If that makes you happy. It doesn’t roll off the tounge well.

  43. morris brown
    Nov 11th, 2016 at 08:22
    #43

    Pau Dyson writes above:

    Paul Dyson Reply:
    November 10th, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Oil wants pipelines. Coal is not coming back, nor manufacturing unless run by robots. Rail freight is in long term decline. Does not have a competitive product

    Yes indeed oil wants pipelines and will get them as promised by Trump. Keystone will probably be the first to be approved.

    “Coal is not coming back?”

    FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.

    That is the FIFTH promise made by Trump to accomplish in his first 100 days.

    “rail freight in a long term decline?”. Tell that to Warren Buffet who made the huge investment in freight just a few years ago, and is enjoying the benefits of that choice ($billions)

    I didn’t vote for Trump; I have no use for the guy. But he is the president elect, and the whole political landscape has changed, and a whole lot of the population in BLUE California better get used to it.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Dear Morris: Coal is not coming back. Trump bought those votes with counterfeit money. With fracking and drilling coal will not compete with natural gas. Besides in the eastern coalfields the easy stuff has already been mined. With or without Trump it was on its way out, leaving lots of stranded rail assets behind.
    Without coal and with the shift of international trade away from the west coast the railroads are losing two key sources of income. They do not have a competitive product in the shorter hauls, and too many institutional barriers (e.g. two railroads or more to move a car or container say from MN to IN). Buffett has done well with BNSF to date, but look at the most recent quarter, especially the coal stats.
    I suggest that Californians employ Trump’s accountants and stop paying federal taxes. That way we can keep the money here and make our own investment decisions.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I agree coal is not coming back. Because it was “killed” by cheap natural gas, not by the government.

    But you are dead wrong on freight. Buffet has already tripled his investment

    https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-11-11/berkshire-hathaway-bnsf-railroad-deal-shines-bright-in-hindsight

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    John, I said Buffet has done well to date with BNSF, but I predict a decline in the industry. Past performance cannot be relied upon as an indication for future prospects. What is the BNSF book of business? Coal is a large part, and intermodal. Intermodal now is largely dependent on overseas manufactured goods landed at west coast ports. Ports in red states are getting fed money to dredge and equip to handle larger container ships. The trend will be away from China to south Asia and even Africa. I could be wrong but I don’t think purely domestic industrial business plus grain and other bulk will be enough to fill the gap.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    we can agree to disagree. I dont think “moving stuff around the country” is going away. The mix may change, but your assertion their product is not competitive will not hold true. We will see, along with 1 billion other things, over the next 4 years.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    John, Railroads are acutely volume sensitive, so loss of a large percentage of coal and migration of intermodal to the gulf and east coast will hit the bottom line of rail carriers. Eastern roads may pick up some short haul volume from the ports but this is not very profitable. So the mix will change. Are the railroads equipped to deal with this change, and does it play to their strengths as high volume long haul carriers?
    Rail advocates tend to denigrate the truckers without understanding just what a great job they do, and how efficient they are. A few years ago a UP internal study indicated that there were 38 steps a potential customer had to go through before they could ship. The trucker will have already delivered the first dozen loads! Railroads are left hoping that they can continue to exploit such monopoly customers as they still have to keep the books balanced. That’s not a good long term prospect.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You dont have to convince me that the railroads are backwards and inefficient. But the inefficiency is due to process, that can be fixed. They have an inherent efficiency advantage in the actual mode of transport. It is simply cheaper to move a pound of freight by rail rather than truck, especially once you get to a few hundred miles.

    Rail will have to adapt and get better for sure, but trucking can overcome the inherent advantage that rail has in terms of cost per pound.

    As you point out, there is a huge capital investment to get that advantage, and that is the biggest advatage of the trucking industy, much less up front capital. But rail already has it invested, and with owners like Buffet who pay NOTHING on interest, well its just not enough.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    They haven’t fixed the process in the 48 years I’ve been in the industry. Like the Brazilian economy, great potential, always will have. Even your pound of freight statement can be challenged, given the success of the truckers in balancing loads and reducing empty mileage. The vast majority of rail freight is one way only in increasingly specialized equipment. That’s a lot of steel being moved every day to no purpose.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Please do not call Trump President “elect”. The Electoral College has not yet met and the people have not elected Trump. Hence he has not been elected.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    He is being treated the same as every other candidate in modern history. After the vote they are called President-elect.

    Being uncivil does not make it any less untrue

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    PS, both Obama and Clinton have used the term

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The people have not elected him. And the electoral college has not yet met. It’s not factually correct to call him that. I don’t care who has called him that.

    If and when he is inaugurated, I plan to take a cue from Nicaraguan La Prensa (a rabidly anti-Ortega rag but also the only thing to oppose Somoza for most of his reign) and call him “de facto President” because that what he will be.

    Jerry Reply:

    He will also be, “de jure President Trump.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But he won’t be de iusto President.

    And Ortega managed to ensure via shenanigans (the constitutional court declared the section of the constitution that prohibited reelection unconstitutional) that his presidency has the appearance of legality…

    Jerry Reply:

    Interesting scenario. (shenanigans)
    A president could load up an expanded Supreme Court (15) and declare previous constitutional actions as unconstitutional. Gee.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That is pretty much what Ortega did. He also abolished the runoff for all presidential elections where the winning candidate gets 35% or more ahead of the 2006 elections where the right wing split the vote and Ortega scraped by with 38% of the vote. All he had to do to get this was let Arnoldo Aleman, who embezzled tens of or even hundreds of millions of Dollars out of jail free…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You can call him whatever you like, that is your right. He is factually, the President-elect. And after the inauguration, will be the President.

    This BS about the popular vote is just a Red Herring. At no point did the results of the popular vote, in itself, matter. The GOP strategy ignores the popular vote. It is like playing a game and after they win you try and change the rules.

    What are the rules. Highest points win. Touchdowns are 6+1 extra point, field goals are 3
    After the game, having won 21-18
    Well I really won, I scored 6 times and you scored 3 times. So I really won

    The GOP never cared about the popular vote and neither did Clinton. She conceded for a reason, the rules were established beforehand. The strategy was set based on those rules. If the rules were the popular vote you would have to re-run the whole thing with a different strategy to see how it plays out. For sure the GOP would not give up CA in a 65% landslide.

    No one cheated. He won straight up. And it was ridiculously close. 43 elector votes were decided on 110,000 votes. If she have those votes in Michican, Wisconsin, and Florida she wins.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    PS, it was a sainted Democrat, FDR, that tried to pack the Supreme Court to get the New Deal through. Look it up.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    He won, but that doesn’t mean we should keep the electoral college.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I know that FDR tried to pack the court (amazingly, the threat alone was enough to get the anti-new deal justices to back down). I also know that FDR did Japanese American internment. FDR was a human. He was no saint and I never claimed he was. Worshiping or demonizing a caricature of a past leader is harmful no matter who does it and no matter about which leader it is done. I don’t like the Kennedy-craziness on the left and I downright loathe the Reagan-craziness on the right. And FDR was not without faults. Neither was Lincoln. Neither was Thomas Paine (one of the most unjustly overlooked founding father). We should appreciate the real humans and learn from their real faults while trying to emulate their real virtues. That might not make good television, but it would make for much better learning from history.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I also prefer the full picture of historical figures. People like Benedict Arnold going from hero that wins the battle that secures the French involvement in the War of Independence to the most famous traitor in the history of the country. Or Nixon or Paine is a really good one. what a rabble rouser

    My favorite actually hails from your neck of the woods. General Von Steuben. Let see, fraud (his resume was not what he said it was), drunk, able to cuss in 3 languages (none of them English), a gambler, a really poor businessman, and probably homosexual (a real fault in those days).

    Also arguably, other than Washington and perhaps Gates, the General most responsible for winning the war. I always thought he was a great example of providence, the right man for the right job at the right time. A “real” Prussian officer would have took 1 look at that rag tag bunch of “soldiers” and run back home. But a “defective” Prussian officer, well he gives them a chance to learn.

    “You say to your soldier, ‘Do this’ and he does it. But I am obliged to say to the American, ‘This is why you ought to do this’ and then he does it.”

    After the war no matter how much money they gave him he kept losing it, and they kept giving him more (LOL). A real American story of an immigrant who gave as much to America as he received back in return. Trump is so wrong on immigration, i wish he and his supporters could see through the short term pain to see that. .

    Perhaps providence is working for America once again with Trump, maybe despite his retoric, he will turn out to be the right man at the right time for the right job.. I certainly hope so.

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

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    One would think his mother and two of his three wives would be able to explain to him why immigration is a moderately good thing.

    J. Wong Reply:

    It never was about immigration of white Europeans for either him or his followers just immigration of “those people”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I agree with your assessment on Steuben (who may or may not even have embellished the “von”, though not all people with a “von” in their name were necessarily any kind of nobility back then).

    And the funniest thing about “Mexicans” (which is often shorthand for all Latin@s) is that a not quite small number of them is actually white. Actually, some Latin American countries (including Mexico) actually have Mennonites running around in “quaint” clothing that frankly cannot be doing them any good in the climate of e.g. Yucatan and some of them even still speak Germanic dialects. So not only are there white Mexicans, there are even “Amish” Mexicans, or Mexicans that would be mistaken for Amish. Yet Donald Trump sees no fault in marrying a woman who may or may not have worked on a tourist visa while he insults the vast majority of all immigrants coming from one country. Despite the fact that most of those people are as hard working as they get and the “problem” of immigrants overstaying their visa only happened after the “shut the border” rhetoric got more insane.

    Germany has had work migration from Poland since before Poland became a member of the EU. A big part of them were seasonal migrants doing field work (mostly, but not only in asparagus, which is a work intensive crop). They came here, worked for a few months and went back, rinse repeat. The same thing used to happen along the US-Mexico border… But then some idiot starting talking bullshit about “securing the border” and now any “illegal” immigrant who leaves knows one thing for certain: I ain’t coming back. So they stay. Shutting the border not only hurts all involved, it actually makes illegal immigration increase, not decrease.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There will be an ugly bankruptcy in a few years. Pipelines delivering 60 dollar a barrel oil made sense when oil was 70 dollars a barrel. It doesn’t when oil is 50 dollars a barrel. It’s probably going to be that cheap for a long time because the Saudis would rather get 30 dollars a barrel now instead of 20 dollars a barrel in 2035. No matter how hard coal miners clap their hands coal isn’t coming back. Natural gas is too cheap. And will be for the next few years before renewables get even cheaper than cheap natural gas.

    More people work installing solar than work in the coal mining industry. Then there are the people installing wind. And working in the plants building the panels and the windmills. And in the battery plants. And building the transmission lines. Chargers for electric cars….

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Paul

    What about China buying Wyoming low-sulfur coal? Now India is expanding nuclear – I dunno what’s going on with China. Maybe it is a China jobs thing, like Appalachia.

    @ Adi

    Rural Maine towns have no natural gas available; they’re still burning oil so clearly in some locales the argument for gas is not strong enough.

    les Reply:

    Yep, Rural Maine is where I would hedge my bets on Oil making a statement…please. Meanwhile the cities of LA and Seattle alone are putting up 170 billion for PT and Musk is planning a gigafactory for Europe. The usual leaders will lead regardless of rural republican mentality.

    Aarond Reply:

    NRG is also building America’s third largest NG station in Carlsbad, specifically because San Onorefe is closing down. In two decades when the solar farms around I-15 have to be replaced, will they face the same fate? 60% of CA’s energy already comes from gas.

    Edward Reply:

    I just got the PG&E 2015 power mix statement in the mail:

    Natural Gas – 25%
    Nuclear – 23%
    Large Hydro – 6%
    Biomass and Waste – 4%
    Geothermal – 5%
    Small Hydro – 1%
    Solar – 11%
    Wind – 8%
    Coal – 0%
    Unspecified – 17%*

    * Beginning in 2010, Transactions not specifically traceable to specific generation sources are designated as “unspecified” in accordance with Public Utilities Code Section 398.2 (d).

    Aarond Reply:

    I reckon “unspecified” refers to power they get across state lines (typically gas). 23 + 17 = 40%. Also, notice how most of California’s population resides in areas not serviced by PG&E. SCE gets 28% of it’s power from gas and 34% from “unspecified”, which gives us 62%. SDG&E is 67% and 6% respectively. So, (40+62+67)/3 = 56%

    Wikipedia claims statewide we get 44% NG power and 14% “unspecified”, which gives us 58%.

    That said the basic assumption made here (“unspecified”=imported gas) might be wrong, but there is no public information to disprove it.

    Edward Reply:

    A little more information from the California Energy Commission:

    Generally, the unspecified power category would be comprised of short-term market
    purchases from those power plants that do not have a contract with a California utility.
    Much of the Pacific Northwest spot market purchases are served by surplus hydro and
    newer gas-fired power plants. The Southwest spot market purchases would be
    comprised of new combined cycle power and some coal. Generally, a marginal supply
    approach for the determination of spot market supply would yield the most accurate
    assessment of power included in the unspecified power category.

    Finally, there is the issue of null power. Null power refers to power that was originally
    renewable power but from which the renewable energy credits have been unbundled and
    sold separately. Null power is not attributable to any technology or fuel type.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Natural gas plants have to be replaced too. solar panels get replaced when there is a mechanical issue. In 20 years the old panels will be producing less than they do today but as long as they are producing they’ll stay up.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Or they are shipped for a lower price to some other country to be replaced with new panels that will be a lot more efficient.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Taken down by Keebler elves and transported by garden gnome canal boats?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well if you can get 50% efficiency out of new hypothetical panels, why would you keep your 20% efficiency panels?

    And we all know where stuff the first world does not want to use (any more) ends up. Sometimes even if it is evidently broken.

    Aarond Reply:

    Yes and more people work in the American oil industry alone than both renewables and coal. The winner here is by far NG and solar companies better hope their cost protections pan out otherwise they’re going to find themselves in the same hole nuclear is presently in.

    les Reply:

    No comparison between solar and nuclear cost at their respective states in the game. Nuclear is what, a 1/2 century in development and still can’t crawl on its’ own knees let alone walk.

    Aarond Reply:

    That’s because all the subsidies for it were removed by the oil lobby. The same will hold true of the solar lobby very soon. I’m all in favor of clean energy, but be honest and realize it’s not 1:1 competitive with fossil fuels. How many people would bother with roof solar if they didn’t own their homes and couldn’t get a rebate for it? States have to be willing to spend the extra money for clean air.

    les Reply:

    Lack of subsidies is the least of nuclear’s problem:
    “Between 2002 and 2008, for example, cost estimates for new nuclear plant construction rose from between $2 billion and $4 billion per unit to $9 billion per unit, according to a 2009 UCS report, while experience with new construction in Europe has seen costs continue to soar.”

    http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-power/cost-nuclear-power#.WCYsLy1rjZY

    Aarond Reply:

    Yes, because the subsidies are completely gone while Reid successfully stalled Yucca Mtn meaning nuke plants need onsite storage. In 50 years, will solar plants be required to have onsite green decommissioning facilities to ensure no dead panels end up in landfills?

    Again, clean energy costs money. It’s up to states to determine if the clean air is worth the extra cost (I think it is).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I don’t know about the US but Germany is one of a growing number of states where electricity from the rooftop is cheaper than electricity from the utilities.

    Aarond Reply:

    Only on certain days (though I will admit that the US, especially CA, gets far more sun than Europe so PV works better here). France is heavily nuclear, Poland heavily gas and during winter months this means more imported power.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So what does electricity cost per kilowatthour? Or do you measure it in some arcane non-metric unit (yes, I know, Kilowatt-hour is less scientific than Mega Joule)?

  44. Car(e)-Free LA
    Nov 11th, 2016 at 09:37
    #44

    Some good news: I just realized you can now see CAHSR bridge over the Fresno River on Google Street view if you look at SR 145 about 1000 feet west of the BNSF line, east of Madera.

    Robert Reply:

    I wasn’t able to find this. Does anyone know if there is a Google Maps overlay anywhere that shows where all the construction is taking place? That would provide a great starting point for anyone to zero in and see whether the ongoing construction can be seen in the updated maps. The authority I would think would want to have this so that people can see the progress taking place.

    RT

    Alan Reply:

    Make sure you look at *Street View*, not the overhead satellie view. Street View is dated May 2016; the satellite view, although dated 2016, is at least a year older.

  45. Jerry
    Nov 11th, 2016 at 10:46
    #45

    As a U.S. Army veteran I’m happy to say thank you to all veterans today, and every day.
    Enjoy your day.

  46. Edward
    Nov 11th, 2016 at 13:31
    #46

    To be economical I am letting fly with a few topics in one comments.

    As one wag said, “The Apprentice – Presidential Edition”. Since Trump has never held elective office we don’t have any data. Unless he does something truly egregious I’m going to give him a year in office to prove himself. This should save large amounts of both typing and stomach ulceration. If opinion is wanted I’m sure plenty will be on offer from other sources.

    The theoretical limit of solar cell efficiency has been proven to be much higher than was thought until recently and the theoretical limit of battery/motor range was recently proven to be greater than that of the gasoline/engine combination. Note that this does *not* mean that the energy density of a battery could be greater than that of gasoline, just that the combination of a battery and a motor *could* be greater than gasoline and an internal combustion engine.

    Neither of these facts mean that improvements approaching the limits are coming soon (or are even possible), but it does mean that there are a lot of engineers and scientists working on improvements that were until recently thought not worth the effort.

    In any case, the Chinese curse has come true. We are about to live in interesting times.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I second your comment re interesting times. At least as interesting as the 1930s. And once more it seems that relatively mild dictatorships (there is the great word “dictablanda” in Spanish that is a pun on “dictadura” as dur@ means hard) are prefereable for their citizens than the insane madness of open fascism. Of course everything is (still) a bit more bearable than back then, so “mild dictatorship” might mean a place where the press is “free” but owned by one or two individuals (except for one fig leaf newspaper nobody reads) and the “President” might get “reelected” with “70%” of the vote instead of “101%” including dead people…

  47. Roland
    Nov 11th, 2016 at 13:39
    #47

    Breaking News: “The California High-Speed Rail Authority filed a waiver request earlier this week with the Federal Railroad Administration that would exempt the authority from the “buy America” requirements of federal law because no U.S. passenger train manufacturers currently exist.”
    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/11/11/heres-why-californias-high-speed-rail-system-wants.html

    Does anyone have any idea how our new President might react to this and how Amtrak were able to close the deal with Alstom without needing a waiver?

    On a related note, I just can’t wait for the January President’s speech announcing that the FTA is about to give Caltrain $640M to buy more CalFranKISSentrains…

    Aarond Reply:

    Alstom’s “Avelia :iberty” trainsets are built in Hornell, NY and are Buy America compliant.

    http://www.alstom.com/usa/

    As for Trump, he’s busy and will only bother to react if the FRA approves the waiver. In which case the new Transportation Secretary will step in and nix it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Or he won’t because Trump’s bluster on trade was just that: bluster. He did not make his neckties in the US after all.

    Wells Reply:

    As he (whose name ‘T’ shall not be uttered) himself said, “oil, gas, coal companies are gonna love me.”
    OTOH, Seattle Port Director Bill Bryant LOST.
    Billy would approve all coal/oil/gas RR transport to new export terminals, no problem.
    KMA Billy Bryant, Warshingtun Stayt Guvaner wannabe port director jerkoff.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Fear of the name increases fear of the thing itself.

    –albus dumbledore, when referring to Donald trump–sorry, Lord voldemort.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But Dumbledore was gay for Grindelwald…

    Oops… Spoiler…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Whaaaaaaaaat??????!!!!!!

    Edward Reply:

    Yup. It has been known for almost ten years that he was gay. His relationship however has only come to light in the last few days… at least to those not in the know.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How so?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    You just made my childhood a lot more interesting. I guess I’m oblivious. What is it in books one through seven that tips us off about this intriguing personality characteristi, and how does kraut factor into it all?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    For once bringing up Kraut is really uncalled for.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    sorry

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    No problem.

    Gag Halfrunt Reply:

    The reporter who wrote the article seems to think that a waiver is needed for trains made in the USA by a foreign-owned company. That surely can’t be true, can it?

    Amtrak, which earlier this year ordered 28 replacement trainsets for its 150-mph Acela trains, got a similar FRA waiver to buy from Alstom of France. Its new trains will be assembled in New York State with about 95 percent U.S.-made components..

    Anyway, the FRA will presumably refuse to grant a waiver on the grounds that there is now a high speed train manufacturer in the USA.

    Joe Reply:

    CA HSR waiver explained. 92-94% of the trains can be made in US and 100% eventually. The waiver is for the 6-8% that cannot be made in USA – yet.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/11/11/heres-why-californias-high-speed-rail-system-wants.html
    The system is planning to issue a request for proposals to passenger train manufacturers within the next eight months to produce two working prototype trains and 16 trainsets of 10 cars each, capable of 220-mph service, spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley said. Each trainset will carry about 450 passengers in first and business classes with food service capability for both.

    “This small — 6 to 8 percent of what we need for the trainsets — can’t be manufactured in America yet, and we want the waiver,” said high-speed rail spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley. “The whole idea is that we would then, during the process of having it all built and manufactured, transfer that knowledge and skill into America so that the industry will have been set up in America to do that here.”

    Roland Reply:

    “The domestic content minimum for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 is more than 60 percent; for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, it is more than 65 percent; and for fiscal year 2020 and beyond it is more than 70 percent. FTA is also providing a limited public interest waiver for solicitations and contracts that were underway when the FAST Act was enacted in 2015.”
    https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/buy-america/buy-america

    Roland Reply:

    The Silicon Valley Business Journal is nothing more than a PBRRA-paid propaganda machine. The reporter reports whatever Ben Tripousis says, verbatim.

    Useless Reply:

    Roland

    Does anyone have any idea how our new President might react to this and how Amtrak were able to close the deal with Alstom without needing a waiver?

    The Avelia Liberty is a medium-speed train set that cost twice as much as a high-speed train set.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What makes you call the Avelia “medium speed”?

    jedi08 Reply:

    This is not the average speed but a true high-speed train based on 1000 units already in operation in the world.http://www.alstom.com/fr/products-services/product-catalogue/systemes-ferroviaires/trains/produits/train-a-grande-vitesse-avelia-liberty/

    Useless Reply:

    jedi08

    You need to understand that Avelia Liberty is a one-of-a-kind Frankentrain created by putting together parts from three separate and unrelated train models. As such it is unproven and is highly risky in terms of engineering challenges and schedule.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I really do not like you badmouthing the beautiful region of Franconia (Franken) all the time…

    Eric M Reply:

    Seriously, you need to grow some thicker shin.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I’m fairly sure he was joking.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    A German joke is no laughing matter, he wrote for the seventeenth time.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Of course I was joking. What is it with you humorless Americans?

    Eric M Reply:

    I am German as well, but you just kept going on and on how this country will end with Trump. So I figured it was no joke

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I hope I am wrong about Trump.

    But I sincerely fear he is a fascist. He says as much. And he retweets Mussolini.

    Eric M Reply:

    I am German as well, but you just kept going on and on how this country will end with Trump. So I figured it was no joke

    Edward Reply:

    I ride the Frankenbus in Bad Neustadt reasonably often. Part of the Nessi system named after the monster and the licence plate.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Bad Neustadt an der Saale or another Bad Neustadt?

    Edward Reply:

    You have it. I have friends in Rödles a village just west of there. As you know, there are a few Bad Neustadts about and a ton of just plain Neustadts.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Are there any good neustadts or mediocre neustadts? XD

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    “Bad” is the German cognate of English of “bath” and an honorific for spa towns. Aachen for example would be allowed call itself “Bad Aachen” but chooses not to because it wouldn’t be first in the dictionary any more if it did.

    jedi08 Reply:

    Avelia is not a train at low speed but a high-speed train based on 1000 copies already in circulation worldwide.
    http://www.alstom.com/fr/products-services/product-catalogue/systemes-ferroviaires/trains/produits/train-a-grande-vitesse-avelia-liberty/

  48. Car(e)-Free LA
    Nov 12th, 2016 at 10:09
    #48

    OT. Does anyone have any news on the planned vta light rail extension from alum rock to eastridge. Also, has there been any discussion of what a sr 85 light rail line would look like? Finally, has there been any recent discussion of lrt from the Capitol station on sr 87 lrt to eastridge?

    Aarond Reply:

    Not much news on the Eastridge extension, VTA doesn’t have enough money for it as BART SV is being prioritized. But there is a fancy bus station there.

    As for SR-85 LRT, it’d parallel the existing UP Leigh Quarry ROW like the rest of the line does. But it’s not a VTA priority compared to the BRT program, which will service El Camino and Stevens Creek Blvd (which are the core surface roads through the area). Hopefully in a decade both will be converted to proper light rail.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART is always prioritized. Watch out, TBT Tunnel.

    Aarond Reply:

    To get a TBT Tunnel, one must first connect Caltrain to the TTC. It is still uncertain if SF is capable of this.

    J. Wong Reply:

    The Authority is pretty much leaving up to SF to figure out the alignment to get to TBT.

    Roland Reply:

    SF are a lot closer to connecting Caltrain to the TTC after this: http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=29&clip_id=26533 (click on #12)

    Reality Check Reply:

    How so?

    Reality Check Reply:

    In your own words, how or why do you think SF is “a lot closer” to connecting Caltrain to TTC?

    Roland Reply:

    in my own words: “because they just fired the imbecile responsible for the 15-year DTX mess”.

    keithspedicabs Reply:

    RAB Study.
    Create a Loop Track/Extension to the East Bay to Enhance Operational Capacity at the Transbay Transit Center
    Currently, the Transbay Transit Center (TTC) is a stub-end station, meaning trains use the same track to go in and out. This can reduce the station’s overall capacity. A loop track or extension to the East Bay will increase the station’s overall capacity.
    The feasibility study will update the existing loop track study according to an updated design of the Transit Center, as well as the financial and physical feasibility of such a loop, including constraints posed by existing and planned buildings

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Would SR 85 go all the way from Mountain View to Santa Theresa, or just as far as DeAnza Boulevard, or would it be a northward extension of Winchester LRT?

    Aarond Reply:

    Yes, all the way from MV down into Santa Theresa. This would in effect make a giant Silicon Valley loop which would be a great boost to commuters especially considering that it would bisect the two planned BRT lines. This would be such a boost that I’d even go so far to argue that it’d be better as a Caltrain extension rather than a VTA light rail route (but of course I would say that, as a San Mateo County resident).

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Are there enough residences/employers within walking distance of this route? Also, I don’t know the area well, but I would assume it would warrant an extension of Winchester lrt to connect with it along with being extended north to Google Plex/ shoreline amphitheatre.

    Aarond Reply:

    Yes, in spots (ie around DeAnza college). The goal would be to make it as easy as possible for Caltrain/SF residents to get to otherwise unreachable jobs in the back end of Santa Clara County either through a one seat commuter ride or through a VTA transfer.

    Also, with the latter (ie light rail) then it provides a means for existing VTA LRT and future BRT riders an outlet to Caltrain regardless of which direction they are travelling in.

    Roland Reply:

    The Winchester LRT is being extended to SR 85: http://www.vta.org/sfc/servlet.shepherd/document/download/069A0000001FvoHIAS (see map on page 2).

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I thought that was cancelled due to low ridership protections.

    Roland Reply:

    You thought wrong.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    By the year 2035, the extension is projected to generate 729 new daily transit trips, mostly from park and riders.

    https://systemicfailure.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/vtas-new-175-million-park-and-ride-lots/

    Roland Reply:

    That was before transit lanes on SR85

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    If those are built.

    Roland Reply:

    – The LRT extension from Alum Rock to Eastridge was approved at the same time as the Winchester extension to SR85.
    – There are currently no plans to extend the light rail from Eastridge to the Capitol station until BART is done (a BART extension to Cupertino will probably have a higher priority).
    – Measure B passed with $350M for SR85 so expect Express buses from Gilroy to MV on a dedicated transit lane in the very near future. With regards to rail in the 85 median, things get REALLY complicated north of 280 (no median) and the current experience on 85/87 has shown that LRT is too slow (max 55 MPH), so the vehicles would probably be some kind of tramtrains capable of 70 MPH. Having said all that, there currently is no funding for any kind of rail on SR85 other than track rehab between Santa Teresa and 87.

    The SR85 gory details are here: http://www.vta.org/Get-Involved/Policy-Advisory-Boards/State-Route-SR-85-Corridor-Policy-Advisory-Board

  49. J. Wong
    Nov 12th, 2016 at 13:00
    #49

    The San Francisco-San Jose Scoping Report.

    What they want to do:

    • Achieve high-speed rail service consistent with the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century (California Streets & Highways Code § 2704 et seq.) using blended train operations predominantly in the Caltrain corridor
    • Provide blended system infrastructure that supports commercially feasible high-speed rail, while also minimizing environmental impacts and maximizing compatibility with communities along the rail corridor
    • Establish a high-speed rail connection to the economic centers of northern California

    A further purpose of the Project Section is to construct, maintain, and operate an electrified, high- speed rail system, which includes the construction, improvement, upgrade, operation, and maintenance of new and existing facilities and infrastructure necessary to support the system connecting the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco to Diridon Station in San Jose. High- speed rail would “blend” with the existing Caltrain system through the primary use of a two-track configuration, and using existing transportation corridors and rights-of-way in a manner that is consistent with state law and minimizing environmental impacts through a reduced project footprint. The system would be designed to provide consistent and predictable travel, capable of achieving a nonstop travel time of 30 minutes between San Francisco and San Jose.

    Things they plan to do to achieve it:

    1. New and/or Modified Infrastructure
    • Curve straightening and track centers modifications throughout the corridor to support higher speeds, with the potential for reconstruction of Caltrain stations to accommodate these changes
    • At least one set of passing tracks, with potential alternative locations for the passing tracks
    • A light maintenance facility, with potential alternative locations
    • Existing rail bridge reconstruction or replacement as necessary to accommodate mixed
    traffic
    • Right-of-way acquisition as needed in certain locations
    2. Proposed Operations
    • Signal system improvements to accommodate blended service
    • Resolution of high-speed rail operations at Caltrain’s hold-out rule stations (Broadway, Atherton, Stanford Stadium, College Park)
    3. Modifications to Existing Stations
    • Raised and straightened platforms, platform screens
    • Passenger facilities necessary for high-speed service at 4th and King, Millbrae and
    Diridon stations
    4. Safety Modifications
    • Installing perimeter fencing along the ROW
    • Implementing four-quadrant gates at all at-grade crossings

    So, they are going to have 4-track most likely a mid-Peninsula overtake. They plan to operate at 110MPH. They plan to comply with Prop 1A.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I approve if they choose FSSF where appropriate.

    Roland Reply:

    You just confirmed that you do not know WTF you are talking about.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The post mantions:
    • At least one set of passing tracks, with potential alternative locations for the passing tracks

    So, they are going to have 4-track most likely a mid-Peninsula overtake.

    Nowhere does it give the locations of the fast tracks relative to the slow tracks.

    Roland Reply:

    The passing tracks are the new Hillsdale Caltrain station which will not be funded until it has a track configuration as per this famous memo: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/eir_memos/NTD_13_RDP_Memo_Station_Platform_and_Track_Layout.pdf

    Roland Reply:

    1)” Resolution of high-speed rail operations at Caltrain’s hold-out rule stations (Broadway, Atherton, Stanford Stadium, College Park)”
    Which station could possibly be missing from this list? Clue: the one where Caltrain got really close to killing 7 passengers back in September 2012.

    2) All this good stuff will clearly have to wait until Caltrain are done electrifying the existing piece of garbage (15 MPH switches et al) and, most importantly, C-E-M-O-F.

  50. Brian_FL
    Nov 12th, 2016 at 19:55
    #50

    Interesting political gossip circulating here in Florida after the election. John Mica is supposedly on Trump’s short list for Secretary of Transportation and Mica confirmed he was interested in the job! Wouldn’t that be interesting for Amtrak and for AAF/Brightline. Mica has been a strong backer of AAF since inception, and in the position as head of US DOT he could get alot of good things rolling for AAF.

    http://floridapolitics.com/archives/227107-john-mica-talked-donald-trumps-u-s-secretary-transportation

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Don’t hold your breath. Wait until the checks clear.

    Roland Reply:

    I am happy to hold my breath. We need people like John Mica if we ever want to get the private sector on board.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Isn’t Mica the guy that hates Amtrak?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He’s the token bipartisan who never comes up with any money for Amtrak. Wants to sell off the NEC and abandon the rest of the system.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well good riddance. Hope he does not come back.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    You mean the guy who has a vendetta against amtrak?

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Yep that guy. Micah hasn’t always done or said things I agree with, but he is a needed antagonist to keep amtrak on top of things. He wants private investment in passenger rail as he sees, correctly, that customer service is not good at amtrak. And I think he understands that the federal government will never fund passenger rail at levels that are required to significantly expand and improve service.

    Private investment of the likes of AAF or Texas Central is what is needed. Frequent trains and good service will draw customers to rail that would otherwise use cars. TOD at all station sites is a must as well. Otherwise 90% of the country will be stuck with old tyme, once a day at best, long distance trains that have a very limited future.

    The future is public-private partnerships or private operation. CA HSR must consider additional sources of income, such as TOD near its stations to be successful. If AAF can do that on a route with much fewer projected passengers, why can’t the CHSRA? And design the stations to be directly linked to the TOD, such as what AAF is doing in Miami.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They aren’t aiming for high speed rail, they are aiming for “as fast as driving”. On ROW they already own or cheap ROW next to a traffic sewer of an expressway.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Brian wants someone to “keep Amtrak on top of things”, let’s say to be better than they are. Amtrak was supposed to die shortly after birth, and has limped along ever since. Worse still it was burdened with the NEC after a few years and has seen most of the investment go to that money sink. We’ve seen some recent improvements on the west coast thanks to empowerment of local management, but in general they are hog tied by the institutional setup.
    But where is the private sector? The Las Vegas – Los Angeles route must surely be a test of the appetite of private investment for modern passenger rail, and where is it?

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Las Vegas to Los Angeles route from what I understand is a weekend favored trip. Any passenger rail service needs business and leisure trips though out the week. So I would put out there that LV to LA is not the test case for private investment. I can think of routes within Texas and between Atlanta and DC that would pull in more customers.

    As far as Amtrak, yes I do want someone, anyone perhaps, to challenge Amtrak to do better. I realize that Mica has been the whipping boy of most Amtrak supporters. But looking back at Amtrak leadership lately, it’s mostly been missing in action. If you agree it needs major overhaul then why not start over? Instead of putting up with “the institutional setup” for another 45 years under Amtrak, why not break away cleanly? If passenger rail is really that necessary then let’s bypass Amtrak and create something better.

    I don’t understand this fixation on continuing with something that is broken and won’t work in the future.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Pick whichever route you think is best Brian, and show me the line of investors willing to build it.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Yes, Amtrak leadership (Boardman) has been appalling. The problem with starting over is that there will be no more national system. I still believe that has a value, as poorly as it has been run, and starved of investment.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Is the potential loss of a “national system” really that much of an issue? How many Amtrak customers actually connect between trains to travel more than, say, 400 miles? My experience and anecdotal evidence points to most customers are travelling on a single train and for less than 6-8 hours. Amtrak could become a system of corridors. Or better yet, a system of corridors could be privately run.

    As far as private investors choosing a route, it is clear that TX and FL are ahead of the LA to LV route. The ideal routes would be those that the owner would be willing to share the ROW with passenger trains. That isn’t as far fetched a concept as it might seem.

    And as a 20 year resident here in Florida, I see first hand what a national system does. Florida is at the mercy of a far away government beauracracy called Amtrak that does not give a shit about Florida. Where i live in Tampa, service has gone from 3 daily trains each way to one. Amtrak must think we can be easily ignored – just like Texans are. At least AAF will, I hope, in 20 years corner the market for intra-state passenger rail here.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You vote for people who tell you they hate trains, what do you expect?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Brian, The national system generates far more passenger miles than the state corridors. “Corridors” is a dated concept, networks make productive use of assets and offer far more journey choices. There is no such thing as a “system of corridors”.
    I make no apologies for Amtrak. But your elected reps, one in particular, doesn’t exactly encourage them to add service. Perhaps you should address your complaint to them rather than the “far away government bureaucracy”? The Republicans seem to have swallowed the myth that the NEC is “profitable” and they are as responsible as anyone for causing Amtrak to focus their attention on that route, at the expense of the rest of the country.
    So you think we’ll see private investment succeed in Florida and Texas? I would like to see it, there and elsewhere. I believe the formula will require large amounts of real estate development to help the railroad side of the business to wash its face. We’ll see if, when the real estate deals have been done, there is still an appetite to build a railroad.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    The national system has more passengers only because the current state funded corridors are few. The national network may over more journey choices, but is that really the best utilization of scarce resources? Take any long distance western train. How many trainsets are required to cover the current servide? 6 or 8? What if those 6-8 trainsets were redeployed to provide better service on a shorter section of the current route or a better route with more potential?

    That there is no system of corridors yet is my point. If there was, those corridors could offer frequent service and much better ridership. Here in Florida, on the Silver services, intrastate trips are roughly 20% of the total silver ridership. Imagine what could be if the schedules were timed for optimizing ridership between Miami and Jacksonville?

    You mention and imply that Florida reps don’t encourage added service. Well Florida is much like California in that we are the 4th most populous state and send more tax money out than we receive. Why should we have to beg for service when so many small states with ridership less than the single Tampa station stop suck up so much money to maintain a national system?

    Who started the myth of the NEC? It was Amtrak. And it was a political calculation to obtain more funding for the NEC. Perhaps the NEC is focused on because it also provides a massive federal subsidy for all of the local commuter train operations that utilize the same tracks.

    As far as AAF is concerned, they are building the railroad first before the TOD is finished. The railroad service is meant to complement and add to the TOD, not as an afterthought.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Edit: I just realised you were comparing passenger miles instead of total pasengers. Exactly how is it beneficial to have one rider travel 1000 miles vs 5 riders travelling 200 miles on a corridor train? Wouldn’t taking 5 riders off local roads and out of cars in congested areas be more benficial than a single passenger likely travelling long distances through rural and less populated areas? Again, how do we best utilize scarce resources to benefit the maximum number of people?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Brian: we probably agree more than we differ on many points, but here’s some thoughts. Equipment utilization on the l/d trains is very high indeed because of 24 hour operation. The real issues are that we simply do not have enough rolling stock in this country to run any kind of decent regional service, and you really would not want to use superannuated Superliners for that purpose. The other issue for corridors is rights of way. The host railroads of most of the existing services oppose more trains or require huge investments in infrastructure. Even when the routes are publicly owned (e.g. in Los Angeles County) they have not received the investment needed to run a modern service.
    The l/d trains can struggle on because their passengers are not time sensitive. Corridor travelers usually are more concerned with punctuality and journey time, and to be competitive once again massive investment is required. Too often people see a line on a map (an existing railroad) and think that all they need is to buy some trains and they’ll have a service. The California Corridors are good examples, mediocre on a good day and doing little to solve traffic problems along the route. Transferring rolling stock from today’s l/d trains to corridors will accomplish little or nothing. Has AAF started building the new alignment to Orlando?

    Brian_FL Reply:

    True we probably do ultimately agree more than disagree. Perhaps we just differ on how to get there…

    When I said utilization I meant being used to the best advantage – ie greatest posiitve impact on Transportation/environment/livability. Maybe we shouldn’t have squandered precious resources on superliners? Should it have been for more regional trainsets that could operate more efficiently with frequent stops and a different type of customer?

    As far as corridor service and ownership, AAF and FECR are separate companies yet they negotiated a deal. AAF gave FECR a much better railroad in return for rights to run pax trains. Why can’t that be duplicated elsewhere without involving government monies? It can be done and is not impossible.

    Regarding the California corridor services, I thought they were doing well?

    If someone had the vision to start regional or corridor services and get rid of LD trains we would know if it wold accomplish anything. Just because it hasn’t been tried here doesn’t mean it will fail.

    No the phase 2 of the AAF project north of WPB to Orlando has not started yet because of NIMBYS in 3 counties. AAF appears to be willing to wait them out and obtain the best financing terms.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The Superliner decision was over 30 years ago and they have generated billions of rpms and millions of miles. The subsidy is no worse then for state corridors plus they used existing infrastructure at a low price so I think they represented a good deal. If that money had been used for corridor rolling stock much more additional funds would have been needed to deploy them effectively and competitively. Your own experience with AAF indicates that it’s no good just buying trains and running them on existing infrastructure.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Let me make it clear that I consider Amtrak to be a mess, and I would much rather see regionalized systems integrating intercity, commuter, and local transportation networks, (ie Combined VTA, BART, Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin, ACE, Muni, etc.) which is much more practical from a user standpoint, but I would rather have Amtrak over nothing at all.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    The superliners are good cars, based I believe on the old Santa Fe bi-level design from the 1950s. The subsidy of the NEC is not fully realized yet. There is a huge bill coming due. Billions will be needed to maintain the NEC to present conditions. I don’t see the local transit agencies stepping up to pay for it. Especially around NJ, NY, CT.

    In regards to corridors, if Amtrak and its supporters had taken a different approach 40 years ago and promoted corridors maybe we would have them now. Alot of railroad routes were abandoned in the first 20,years of Amtrak’s existence. Imagine if forward thinking people back then were able to obtain a handful of routes between NYC and Chicago and points in between.

    But AAF also shows it is possible even now that new service is possible under the right conditions. I don’t see why AAF couldn’t succeed in places such as Texas and the midwest. In fact, they have mentioned that AAF could be expanded to corridors outside of Florida.

    Michael Reply:

    Amtrak’s cars, based on a 60+ year old design, are good cars.

    That’s what’s wrong with Amtrak. Would anyone say the same about an automobile or airliner design?

    Brian_FL Reply:

    @Michael
    I meant it as a compliment to what Amtrak has been dealt over the past 45 years. That they actually came up with a train car that has lasted 35+ years and hundreds of millions of miles.

    Of course the superliners are almost useless in today’s (and the next 30 years) transportation world. Amtrak should be seriously looking at what Siemens is building for AAF as a template for future trainset orders. Status quo does not have to be so forever!

    Michael Reply:

    Brian, I’m not following so closely, but if AAF is getting something close to the OBB’s RailJet, it will be a great train. I don’t think the two-level stock Amtrak uses is good. I’d prefer to see it standardize on Talgos and a derivative of the RailJet (outside the NEC).

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Michael, that is pretty much what AAF is getting. An American version of the RailJet trainset with North American diesel locomotives. And stainless steel car bodies instead of carbon steel. Along with ADA requirements. The trainsets for AAF are integrated and run as one set. IMO they will be the best rolling stock in North America.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Amtrak was set up to fail within a handful of months, maybe a few years. The fact that it even still exists is a testament to the good work of the men and women running this railroad.

    Look, maybe people at Amtrak are too fond of outdated traditions and maybe there is a lot of unhelpful institutional inertia going on. But the fundamental problem of railroading in America is that there is no national consensus that a national passenger railroad financed by the public for the benefit of the people is a national priority.

    Look at California. Why were the California services so successful? Because they were established with at least some money to be run and at least a modicum of political consensus in their favor.

    There is one thing a railroad needs: Political support. Doesn’t matter whether it is the GDR Reichsbahn, the Bundesbahn, SNCF, Amtrak or any other railroad.

    And yes, in the current climate it will be harder than ever to build that support. Well, that’s life.

    Private railroads will most likely not be able to fill the gap of lacking political climate.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    A couple of people have characterized the California corridors as successful. What are your criteria for success? Market penetration? Profitability? Percentage of the population using them? Traffic reduction on adjacent highways? Or are you just repeating a propaganda line, similar to “the Acela service is profitable”?
    The California State Rail Program started off with apparently good intentions using existing rights of way and made moderate progress. But service, transit time and punctuality have never been more than mediocre. The problem is that it seems as if politicians and even advocates have checked the box. We have intercity, done that, move on to something else. The same came be said of the commuter operations. The propagandists tout the fact that the Surfliner corridor is the second busiest in the country. Big deal. Someone has to be second, and it’s not a measure of success. It’s like me being in a room with Warren Buffett and proclaiming that I am the second richest man there.
    That’s why High Speed Rail is so important if we are interested in modern railroad transportation. The existing corridors are so far from being competitive and more or less impossible to upgrade (in most instances) that the only answer is new railroads or sections thereof.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    My criterium? Ridership. California has among the most utilized Amtrak routes in the nation.

    Which shows that if you offer anything even somewhere in the ballpark of decent service, people will use it.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Ridership? Against what measurement? Total journeys in corridor? F grade I’m afraid. Most utilized by American standards hardly deserves an accolade.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Oh I don’t know. The Surfliner had over 2.7 million riders (2013), which isn’t great by global standards, but it is hardly terrible. It’s always crowded when I ride it.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Global standards? What the hell are they? Bolivia? Switzerland? 7,400 a day in a population of say 15 million is not setting the world on fire, and actually puts it in the “why bother?” category. We really need to start thinking about this stuff and what needs to be done to make rail relevant to a lot more people, and build a base of support.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well the California corridors have the same amount of private involvement as any other rail line in the US (bar AAF which is not yet up and running), so in an apples to apples comparison, we have to look at what distinguishes them from others in the US. Other corridors receive less funding and political support. And other corridors have less ridership no matter how you slice and dice it. So while California is not where it needs to be, the California services show that money put into rail and political support do matter and they do help.

    Jerry Reply:

    The private funded AAF train tracks going to the Miami station are elevated.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    On land they already owned.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    If the ROI is there, does it really matter if the land needs to be bought or not? AAF has acquired a lot of land in Ft Lauderdale and WPB for their project. The main factor was having a ROW available with the FECR. Most of the land they bought was away from the station sites and is used for TOD.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Yes and so are alot of the station tracks for the CA HSR system. Although I understand the TBT in SF is a fucked up mess. And what is up with putting a park on the roof? Why not monetize that air space with buildings and other sources of income? If they really want a park on the roof, what difference does it make if it’s at the top of a 10 floor building or the 80th floor level? Why did TBT not build tall buildings above the station?

    Edward Reply:

    They did monetize the land area. The project is not just the TBT. They are building tall buildings around the TBT. Here is a summary.

    http://transbaycenter.org/project/redevelopment-plan

    Roland Reply:

    Any questions: http://transbaycenter.org/interactive?

    Aarond Reply:

    A bit of history: the original Transbay Terminal was the western terminus for the Key System light rail which was ripped out in 1958. After that, it was used as a bus terminal until it’s demolition in 2010.

    Anyway, it’s only a fucked up mess because it lacks three critical parts: a Caltrain connection, a BART connection, and a Muni light rail connection. The formermost, the Caltrain DownTown eXtension, is stalled due to the SFMTA being stuck in neutral. One of the reasons for the “stuck”-ness is that SF wants to build a new basketball stadium near 4th&King, and perhaps remove the nearby portion of I-280.

    Also, the much flashier part of the entire TTC program is the new Millennium Tower constructed adjacent it. The one that is leaning and is causing problems.

    The whole program is a perfect example of a city making the wrong priorities. The big tower (ie job center) got built first, but the actual rail connection (which would supply it with workers) gets built dead last IF it gets built at all.

    Roland Reply:

    Pardon my vernacular but WTF does the SFMTA have to do with the DTX???
    As far as everything else is concerned, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

    les Reply:

    Why you keep categorizing AAF as HSR is beyond me. Amtrak Cascades and Chicago-SL are much better comparisons. And I love Amtrak Cascades service so I’m not sure where the private aspect is going to make things better. AAF will basically have the same Siemen trains running the same speeds. # of RT trips is going up for Cascades next year so not much more service. Route is being shortened for Cascades so times are coming down considerably.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    I never even implied that AAF was HSR. My point is that any passenger rail system with frequent service and good performance will be successful. I believe that private investment and ideas are needed to reinvigorate passenger trains in this country. And honestly, for short corridors such as Miami to Orlando or even Portland to Seattle, does it really need to be true HSR? If the political will or money is not there but an alternative using private funds is, why not try something different?

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Edit: add TOD to the success criteria of frequent service and performance. In this country, pax rail systems that lose money won’t ever sustain themselves. At least not for another generation or two.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I really don’t care for the notion of “true HSR’, but I do believe in competitive journey times. In 1955 British Railways did a study to determine what their service needed to look like with the advent of the Motorways. City center to city center average speed needed to be 80mph which implied consistent 100mph running over much of the route. The “intercity” service between USA cities numbers 2 and 8 operates at 40mph average, and has done ever since I have been here (1980) and probably before. It’s simply not competitive and the market penetration is derisory.

    Roland Reply:

    Agreed. Back in the seventies, cars could not compete with Intercity 125 which was the best that could be achieved without electrification. Intercity 225 (AKA IEP) will continue the legacy for every UK city not served by 200 MPH HSR.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    And basically AAF will average 80-85mph between Miami and Orlando, a route of 240 miles. A passenger rail system with frequent hourly schedules, good service, and competitive running times will suceed. AAF is the US version of British Rail Intercity 125 service. Too bad we couldn’t have done this here back in he 1980s… by now we would have HSR in several corridors.

    What are cities numbers 2 and 8? Is that LA to SF?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I think he is referring to the UK, so it would be Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, etc.

    Roland Reply:

    Going by distance and demographics, London to Birmingham (HS2) is essentially LA to San Diego which should make you wonder why we are about to piss away trillions on a high speed rail link to Podunkdale(?)

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Roland
    Please don’t become syno.
    PLEASE don’t become syno.
    The world does not need two.

    Roland Reply:

    Do you live in Podunkdale?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    No. Nobody does. I don’t like in Palmdale or the antelope valley, population 500K, either. In fact, I’ve never even been there.

    Roland Reply:

    I have and I would like to know where these 500K people live because it was not in Palmdale.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The Greater Antelope Valley is comprised of many communities; the largest are cities Lancaster and Palmdale, with smaller towns & communities such as Quartz Hill, Rosamond, Lake Elizabeth & Lake Hughes, Pearblossom, Littlerock and Leona Valley. Click here for map. The entire Greater Antelope Valley area has a total population of 507,220. In 2012, the city of Lancaster had a total population of 157,826 and the city of Palmdale a population of 153,708. Both cities have consistently been ranked in the top 25 “Fastest Growing Cities in America.”

    –AV real estate.com

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Syn on here, through endless repetition, has some folks wondering if Palmdale should be skipped. But the 507k population of the Antelope Valley area of LA County is more than all of Sonoma County where Syn lives. When he fears for sprawl it is a projection of his own sins of exurban living.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Brian, by population LA is number 2, San Diego number 8.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Roland, forgetting the HSR program for the moment, the existing railroad connection to the Antelope Valley is an obsolete 19th century single track. IF we are interested in connecting communities by means of a modern passenger rail system then a new railroad is required. In my view any new railroad built should be to high speed specification. Back to CA HSR, if the community opposition along the southern end of the I-5 corridor is so strong as to make that route politically a non starter then you may as well make a virtue of necessity and make the connection to the AV a part of the state trunk route.

    synonymouse Reply:

    A modern version of BART, standard gauge OC, is adequate and appropriate for Palmdale. Not megabillion base tunnels.

    Idem for the Loop line redux; it should be freight compatible. This is not a viable passenger alignment.

    As far as Las Vegas goes it is an artificial creation brought about by blue laws in other states. Its amenities were paid for by a gambling monopoly, not the case any more. Complete the legalization of slot machines in California, etc. and Nevada will just be another New Mexico or Utah.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    syn, still clueless.

    Clem Reply:

    if the community opposition along the southern end of the I-5 corridor is so strong as to make that route politically a non starter

    The community opposition exists and is legitimate, but it was greatly amplified by the specific range of choices offered by the CHSRA. Instead of offering a route along pre-impacted corridors through Santa Clarita and the SFV they offered the false choice between a sh*t burger and a cr*p sandwich (we nuke downtown or we nuke Newhall Ranch, you decide!) It’s no wonder they got the push back they wanted.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Sylmar and San Fernando are equally problematic.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are the same people really arguing for the electoral college “to protect rural areas and small states” now also arguing for skipping over Palmdale because “nobody lives there”?

    Consistency much?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Palmdale is off-route LA-SF.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    SF is off-route of I-5

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not at all – San Francisco is west of LA and a Dumbarton to Altamont route accomplishes proceeding west and south simultaneously whilst avoiding the Peninsula bottleneck. San Jose is a bit peripheral just as Oakland, every bit as important.

    The Pacheco deal equates with the Tehachapi deal – Jerry’s plan for massive real estate exploitation, aka sprawl, and 200 million souls crammed into the State. Sta. Clarita, Sylmar, San Fernando won’t have much of any environment left to bitch about blighting.

    synonymouse Reply:

    sorry – should read east and south or west and north depending on which direction the train is travelling.

    Roland Reply:

    The latest PBRRA memo did shrink the Chowchilla Wye down to the size of Newark junction so you may well be on to something here…

    Jerry Reply:

    Didn’t Micah lose his seat in Congress to a newcomer?

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Yes, and to a newcomer that used Mica’s support of Trump against him. But that may have unintended consequences as Mica is now being considered for Secretary of Transportation! In charge of Amtrak possibly… what could possibly go wrong??

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Everything.

  51. Joe
    Nov 13th, 2016 at 13:00
    #51
  52. morris brown
    Nov 13th, 2016 at 16:28
    #52

    LA Times: Not made in America? California bullet train officials seek exemption to buy foreign parts

    Joe Reply:

    Small fraction of parts and to acquire initial train-sets for testing.
    Authority planned to have all parts US sourced as they learn QA for the critical components.

    You also can read this negative spin on briebart news. LATimes is that bad.

    Roland Reply:

    Once again, why do they need a waiver?
    “The domestic content minimum for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 is more than 60 percent; for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, it is more than 65 percent; and for fiscal year 2020 and beyond it is more than 70 percent. FTA is also providing a limited public interest waiver for solicitations and contracts that were underway when the FAST Act was enacted in 2015.”
    https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/buy-america/buy-america

    Next question: is anyone aware of issues with domestic manufacturing under a foreign license?

    Last but not least, is the offspring of an incestuous relationship between LTK and the PB RSMFRs behind this latest fustercluck?

  53. Roland
    Nov 13th, 2016 at 17:07
    #53

    Breaking News:
    “Attorneys filed a motion Saturday night in federal court in San Diego asking for the trial date to be continued from November 28 to a date after the presidential inauguration on January 20. They argue that such a postponement is most important for the President-elect because he must not be impeded from pursuing the arduous presidential transition.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/13/us/trump-trial-delay-sought/index.html

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    The man has a real shock coming when he figures out the presidency is 4 year commitment with requirement to live in DC and really boring meetings from morning to night.

    Roland Reply:

    How about filing a waiver? Would that work?

    Jerry Reply:

    Is there a ‘requirement’ that he live in DC?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    A lot like Boris Johnson when Mayor of London, liked the title, not very interested in the work.

    Roland Reply:

    I respectfully disagree: Boris did show disdain for conventional etiquette but his impact on London’s mass transit systems will be part of his legacy.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Nevertheless, he is a terrible human being and an appalling choice for Foreign Secretary.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Boris Johnson is a member of what could reasonably called a cadre of political trolls… They do not hold any sincere beliefs but love hearing their own voice and love the mere shock value their outrageousness produces. Unfortunately way too many people like voting for shit like that.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    hence, Trump

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    true.

    Roland Reply:

    Boris a terrible human being? Are you serious? https://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2016/jul/14/boris-johnson-insults-gaffes-and-apologies-video-profile

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    No shit, Sherlock.

    morris brown Reply:

    @Roland

    From the link to court case regarding Trump University. Note the Judge wants a settlement:

    US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel took a strong stance Thursday and recommended the parties settle the case to avoid the immense complications of a President-elect facing trial while preparing to take office.
    “It would be wise for the plaintiffs, for defendants to look closely at trying to resolve this case given all else that is involved,” Curiel said.

    When a Judge says that, they better settle

    Roland Reply:

    The Trump camp clearly has no intention of settling. Otherwise why would they ask for a postponement?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The Trump camp intends to shut the judge and the trial down. Because Trump seems to think that is within the powers of the President.

    Remember, Berlusconi ran for office to avoid criminal prosecution.

    Aarond Reply:

    Trump can’t shut the Court system down, only Congress can do that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And who controls Congress?

    Danny Reply:

    so’d Darrell Issa; Col. Applegate’s still gaining
    oh, if only $61M hadn’t been embezzled from downticket races into a rotting sperm whale of a national election (oddly this was uncovered by Margot Kidder, who actually is a hard-hitting journalist now)

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    That’s a nice visual image.

    Jerry Reply:

    Good point Danny. It has been overlooked by many.

  54. morris brown
    Nov 13th, 2016 at 18:46
    #54

    @Robert

    I and I am pretty sure many others are looking forward to your response to the election and in particular, your evaluation and predictions regarding HSR and results of candidates for the Legislature.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Plus, this article already has over 700 comments, so it has become rather unwieldy. And yes, I would really like to hear your insight, even if it is “We’re doomed”.

  55. Jerry
    Nov 14th, 2016 at 12:01
    #55

    With the Trump election, and the bond market in flux, and inflation possibly around the corner, what impact will all of that have on CAHSR bonds?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What effect will nuclear war have on the stock market?

  56. Jos Callinet
    Nov 14th, 2016 at 19:48
    #56

    WHY, OH WHY, ROBERT CRUICKSHANK, HAVE YOU NOT COMMENTED SINCE THE ELECTION RESULTS HAVE COME IN?

    Are you in such a state of shock that you have not to this point anyway been able to formulate a response to what has, in fact, happened? If so, you are NOT alone in feeling total dismay, shock and horror, even, at the fascist outcome of this presidential election.

    StevieB Reply:

    The effect on California High-Speed Rail is unclear. The news about an application for exemption for train parts from the Buy America Act is not very exciting.

    Joe Reply:

    The trains will have 80% us content and gradually 100%

    Consumerreports says the highest us content automobile is 75%. Only three models have this highest level.

    This is a briebart news talking point that the trains are outsourcing and costing us jobs. Same propaganda used in the election.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Unfortunately Briebart is the big cheese now…

    Eric M Reply:

    “fascist outcome”…really??? give me a break and grow up. Do you need a safe place and a puppy like some of these colleges are doing??

    Joe Reply:

    The safe place is for fools too frightened to accept Trump at his word.

    He’s building a Kleptocracy. That’s why he admires Putin. Why Bannon is in the WH. Why his children will have prominent roles in the administration.

    Eric M Reply:

    Suuuuuuure

    Joe Reply:

    Easily debunked or verified if you knew who Bannon was or what Kleptocracy means.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Bannon is an open antisemite.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Keystone Kops running the Republican party won’t be able to pull it off.

    Joe Reply:

    Same guys who pulled off the GOP nomination and neutered opposition and who won the election will use the presidency to enrich themselves.
    We’ve laughed at them everytime before they won.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’ve slowly but surely pushed out the responsible adults.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What exactly are the things that stand in the way of the US becoming an authoritarian dictatorship under Trump?

    The Media?

    Couldn’t stop Trump, are sucking up to him as we speak

    Congress?

    In the hands of Trumpistas

    The Supreme Court?

    Trump gets to appoint some doofus who supports him soon

    The constitution?

    Ultimately a piece of paper that means butkus if the Supreme Court says it doesn’t. Remember Jim Crowe and Slavery did not see much opposition from the Supreme Court for decades..

    So who will stop Trump if he tries to take not just power but absolute power?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I cant believe I am defending Trump…this is such a weird election….

    You cant provide 1 shred of evidence that he is going to tear up the constitution and go rouge. There is nothing he has even said has not already been said by a previous president (although you may have to go back quite a few years).

    You cant even support that the media is “sucking up” They have been the most negative of any candidate in history. You are filling in a story that you expect, but has not actually happened yet.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So all the editorials on “hard news” channels to “give Trump a chance” were just my libruhl illusions?

    Joe Reply:

    We can believe you’d defend him.

    You cant provide 1 shred of evidence that he is going to tear up the constitution and go rouge

    All we have is his word, the candidates for cabinet appointments-extremists and nepotism.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Look, if you want to argue he is going to gut Obamacare or pull out of treaties or a whole host of other things that’s fair

    But arguing he is going to tear up the Constitution and reduce America to a dictatorship just makes you sound as looney as the “black helicopter” set of people who support him

    Joe Reply:

    Take him at his word.
    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN13B05C?feedType=RSS

    Week one after the election and the transition team is floating a Muslim registry.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Trump is 100% wrong on immigration. However your “Muslim registry” is just reinstatement of an existing law. From your own article

    “To implement Trump’s call for “extreme vetting” of some Muslim immigrants, Kobach said the immigration policy group could recommend the reinstatement of a national registry of immigrants and visitors who enter the United States on visas from countries where extremist organizations are active.

    Under NSEERS, people from countries deemed “higher risk” were required to undergo interrogations and fingerprinting on entering the United States. Some non-citizen male U.S. residents over the age of 16 from countries with active militant threats were required to register in person at government offices and periodically check in.

    NSEERS was abandoned in 2011 after it was deemed redundant by the Department of Homeland Security and criticized by civil rights groups for unfairly targeting immigrants from Muslim- majority nations.”

    He is cracking down on immigration for sure, but again, no death squads.

    The situation is bad, but exaggerating does not make it better.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Try some fentanyl.

    Joe Reply:

    He’s active elsewhere.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Can you back up your statement that he is, in fact, “..active elsewhere”?

    Joe Reply:

    Yes

    I used Google.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Care to share?

    Joe Reply:

    Nope

    If you guys need to operate a search engine or remain skeptical.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    sigh….

  57. Jos Callinet
    Nov 14th, 2016 at 20:04
    #57

    I have to say that the CAHSR Project fades to insignificance in the face of the calamitous challenges now facing us citizens in this, our beloved nation. for which I fear for its very survival – not to mention, the survival of our planet. Good common sense appears to have said its final “good-byes.”

  58. Jos Callinet
    Nov 14th, 2016 at 20:19
    #58

    How many of us are now seriously considering moving our families and ourselves to other nations, be they Canada, Australia, New Zealand or wherever we’d feel safer? I’m not sure there’s anyplace left on Earth where we can escape tyranny.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    No. I won’t give up on America yet, and I want to fight to improve it. Of course, I’m young and single.

    FYI, I would call Canada, Australia, and New Zealand safe places that haven’t got the populism bug yet.

    Aarond Reply:

    Funny, that’s the last thing I expect out of anyone left of center. Regardlerss, if tyranny is a concern get yourself one of these:

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Beretta-Series-Pistols/728474.uts

    note: only the 92-fs variant is approved for sale in California

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m sure very effective against the Sheriff Department’s tank.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You must have realized the dichotomy of the arms needed to fight the tyranny crowd

    You are patriotic and believe America has the most powerful military in the history of the world, but you believe that you and your friends could take them with small arms.

    yeah…everyone really likes your class 3 body armor with extra ammo pouches. Probably not going to help against the A-10 strafing run.

    As far as moving, when has running away solved any problem?

    Joe Reply:

    You flee to survive. The intent is to make life so dangerous and miserable people will flee.
    We’ll also see how our effectively the police use these new drones.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Honestly don’t you think you are letting the hysteria go a little far? To survive? I read the 100 day plan, and as bad as it is there was no “killing” plank

    Joe Reply:

    I take what he said at face value. His most recent appointments, involving his immediate family and his post victory tweets against the NYTimes, against protestors and today’s boast he could have won the popular vote but didn’t try.

    This are not the thoughts of someone who can take criticism, opposition or is going to pivot or moderate.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    still missing the part where people have to flee the country for safety

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I don’t think white male straight people who know when to keep their mouth shut have anything to fear from Trump.

    But anybody else, especially people who could be considered a “danger” to his rule? Or people he wants to make into scapegoats?

    The first rule of authoritarianism is that all things the authoritarian says should be taken to mean what they seem to mean and if anything should be taken to mean something worse.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They don’t know when to keep their mouths shut. That was half of his campaign. Letting them, let it all hang out.
    He’s going to have problems when they find out the wall isn’t going to erupt from the earth because he commands it to. Or that his really cheap insurance plan is to go without insurance. Or that he is draining the swamp by hiring the lobbyists who made the swamp.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    No I mean the “know when to keep their mouths shut” as in “not criticize Trump”.

    If you are a white male heterosexual of some means who does not criticize Trump, you have nothing to fear. If you are anything but that….

    There’s some bad news…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    what authoritarian rule? He won in a free and fair election? He has not broken a single law? His 100 day plan does not propose to break a single law.

    Fear mongering help no one.

    Joe Reply:

    And you’re still a pasty white heterosexual male.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Wow. I feel burned by your superior logic.

    BTW, how do you know I am pasty white? Or hererosexual for that matter?

    And assuming I am all,of those things how does that make me wrong?

    PS. With my Italian heritage I am more of a tan, except where the sun does not shine, that is really pasty white

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    He has said he wants to “open up the libel laws” and he has appointed an openly antisemitic white supremacist (Steve Bannon) to be basically his right hand.

    And that’s not even counting Pence’s blatant anti-LGBT bigotry.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I’m siding with John. You’re militia is powerless, and the state isn’t malevolent

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    No government was ever brought down by armed citizens.

    Governments have however been brought down by unarmed protests.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    British government… 1776ish

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What brought down the British was a combination of a) “a well regulated militia” b) regular troops (not what you’d call “armed citizens”) and c)The French (who, you know, were subjects of King Louis XVI)

    Oh and also British reluctance to actually fight the war. If the Brits had wanted to, they could have crushed the insurrection and salted the ashes. But after Yorktown they just weren’t in the mood any more.

    Aarond Reply:

    check the dakota access pipeline, tanks weren’t sent in pinkertons were

    also 99% of the “tyranny” whining I’m hearing comes from colored people concerned about getting targeted for attacks by white supremacists in which case a handgun would be both useful and lawful

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    A cite. just one. that isn’t Alex Jones quoting someone’s cousing’s mother-in-law’s neighbor’s coworker.

  59. morris brown
    Nov 14th, 2016 at 20:59
    #59

    Sac Bee: Gavin Newsom favored for California governor – followed by two Republicans

    It is very early, but once Newsom get installed as the next Governor, HSR in California dies, but not without having pissed away 3 to 4 billion.

    Aarond Reply:

    Newsom is the only person with the nerve and the political capital to pull it off. But where would the money go? Probably a Peninsula BART project.

    synonymouse Reply:

    MTC-ABAG and PB-Tutor are gung-ho for Ring-the-Bay.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Short of that, I’ll gladly Ring-The-Bell!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Morris where do you take your belief that a) Newsom still opposes HSR or ever really opposed HSR and b) he will get elected and c) he will get the requisite majority in the legislature?

    As we say in German “Da war der Wunsch Vater des Gedanken”

    Eric M Reply:

    Really?!?!?

    Gavin Newsom commits to high-speed rail

    synonymouse Reply:

    Gavin is a consummate opportunist counseled by Willie Brown.

  60. morris brown
    Nov 14th, 2016 at 21:22
    #60

    In what is really nothing more than an attempt to gain popularity for the Authority, an MOU has been signed between the Authority and a group promoting High Capacity Internet.

    See:

    http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/docs/about/partnerships/mou/Cenic_MOU_2016.pdf

    Clearly this activity is outside the charter of the Authority, but these days the Authority seems to be taking on itself any number of activities, that Chair Richard advocates.

    What is really nothing short of hilarious, is the final statement of the MOU.

    The Authority and CENIC agree that this MOU is non-binding. Either Party may terminate this agreement at its discretion at any time by written notification. By signing below, neither Party undertakes any legally binding obligation to each other or to any third party.

    So here we have a fancy PR release. The MOU means nothing. It did get some press coverage, which is obviously what the Authority wanted.

    Edward Reply:

    SMART has a similar agreement with Sonic Telecom. They have run fiber optic cables to serve industrial parks along the right of way. If you are lucky enough to have access to Sonic’s fiber network you can get 1 Gb service *and* a landline with unlimited service to the US and Canada as well as free calls to landlines in some sixty countries. All for less than $90 per month.

    Railroads are handy for fiber optic cables as you need narrow but very long rights of way.

    Joe Reply:

    All MOUs are non-binding by definition. They still matter or wouldn’t exist.

    les Reply:

    First signs of private investment and you discount it as PR. I recall years ago the authority planning to make cash by marketing the ROW for easements, and now the cash is not green enough for you, go figure.

  61. John Nachtigall
    Nov 14th, 2016 at 23:30
    #61

    No HSR meeting this month, but they published the number so with all the hub-bub about the election just a quick update
    – CP1 Row (pg 11) was +7 (there is a typo in the report, 9 -2 = 7)
    – CP2/3 ROW was (pg 23) had the 1st positive month in 10 months. Proving that the cure to missing plan is to set the plan very low (2 parcels)
    – CP 4 wins the disaster of the month award. -28. So in the last 3 months they have missed by 110. There are only 176 parcels in the entire row. In 3 months they have failed to acquire 58% of the ROW.
    Looking at project progress, the data continues to show the progress is poor. 1 = on-time
    – CP1 = 0.46 The metric has never been about ½ in the reported data.
    – CP2/3 = 0.77 continuing to fall now that the lack of ROW has caught up with them
    – CP4 = 0.83
    So situation normal, all fucked up.

    StevieB Reply:

    Why are you obsessed with acquisition of all the parcels in the ROW when many parcels will not see construction for several years?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Excellent question. Have you ever wondered how projects like the big dig and the bay bridge go so far over budget and so far over time? Missing by multiples of 5-10x the cost and years of delays?

    It does not happen overnight. I happens 1 month at a time, 1 parcel at a time. As you can see, the project efficiency is already being affected by the lack of ROW acquisition. A fact the authority freely admits. The ROW is a beginning step that effects the rest. It shows the depth of the project management incompetence when even the simple 1st steps can’t be taken without delay

    Now this alone is not a big deal. The reason we have project managers is to overcome obstacles like this. The reason I post each month is to show that they are letting the problem persist. They don’t deal with it. Which means, continued delays.

    Ask yourself, why is CP4 performing so poorly. It was not affected by the lawsuit. They had CP1 and 2/3 to learn from in terms of planning and timing, So why is CP 4 more than a hundred parcels behind schedule in 3 months? I post every month as a shout into the darkness that something is wrong

    Joe Reply:

    SteveB is right- you should NOT focus on raw parcel acquisition. That schedule was broken by the lawsuit delay. Parcel appraisals expired and had to be redone.

    Standard PM would redeploy resources to acquire those parcels on the overall critical path and then those that are on near critical path.

    Are CP4 parcels on critical path? If not then the delay doesn’t increase the project schedule.

    StevieB Reply:

    CP4 has not started construction and has not done utility relocation which is a necessary prerequisite to construction.

    CP4 – The Authority awarded this contract to California Rail Builders (CRB) on February 29, 2016 and issued a Notice to Proceed on April 15, 2016. CRB has continued mobilization and preliminary design activities, including planning for environmental re-examinations, updating the risk register, utility identification work, meeting with third parties and early development of the Right-of-Way acquisition plan.

    CP2 and CP3 have not started construction either.

    CP2-3 – The Joint Venture of Dragados/Flatiron continues to mobilize and plan the work, including developing and submitting various design and construction plans, meeting with third parties to understand their design requirements, and beginning building demolition activities. Field work continues with geotechnical exploration, utility location activities, and installation of delineators to identify the environmental footprint. Tulare County Resurfacing submittal approved-road improvements to begin mid-October. Other early start activities are being planned for, including clearing & grubbing and embankment construction in the north area of the project.

    John Nachtigall is a concern troll.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    And yet they are behind schedule. These are the authorities own numbers. I didnt set the schedule, the authority did.

    So why are they missing thier own schedule when as you point out, the hard part has not even started?

    You are making my point for me.

    StevieB Reply:

    How does the behind schedule ROW acquisition affect the nonexistent construction in CP4? If construction on a parcel is to start in 2018 does it matter if the parcel is obtained in 2016 or 2017 or a month before construction?

    Joe Reply:

    For construction package number four, there is no schedule. They have yet to build and baseline their schedule

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    they do have a schedule, and the ROW acquisition is affecting it. Because the self-published SPI is 3/4 of normal.

    Is the authority lying?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    PS. How much utility relocation can you do without the parcels?

    Joe Reply:

    Impressive.

    Tell us why they need to buy land to relocate utilities.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    oh for the love…

    Do you expect them to use a transporter?

    They have to dig them up and move them. Disturbing the stuff that is on top of them like buildings and pavement.

    Joe Reply:

    Answer the the question troll.
    Again do they need to own a parcel to move a utility?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Yes, they need to own it to move the utility

    StevieB Reply:

    Utilities use property easements so they do not require ownership of a property.

    easement. n. the right to use the real property of another for a specific purpose. The easement is itself a real property interest, but legal title to the underlying land is retained by the original owner for all other purposes.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    They are not laying a few phone lines, this is massive work. The existing building have to come down. They need ownership to do that. Do you really think that easement law lets you detroy the exisitng improvements?

    They have a schedule, they are missing the schedule on ALL projects. Its that simple

    Neil Shea Reply:

    You’re making stuff up John

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    really. Ok lets examine the facts

    -The ROW acquisition is behind schedule. Easy to prove, its a fact.

    – CP2/3 and CP4 are currently, among other things, moving utilites. Also proven by the quote above that StevieB posted

    – CP2/3 and CP4 are both behind schedule for the project, not just the ROW acquisition. Again, easy to prove from the numbers I posted above.

    So in my scenario they are behind because they need that ROW. Simple explanation.

    In the other scenario, they dont need that ROW to start. But if that is true, then why are they behind schedule?

    I have made nothing up, I have posted the Authorities own numbers and drawn perfectly logical conclusions from it.

    Joe Reply:

    Goofy John gets busted and abandons his utility troll.

    Repeats pervious lies and disruptions.

    CP4 hasn’t baselined a schedule.
    It’s not possible to be behind schedule until they have one and it’s baselined. It’s all in text in the same slide.

    Joe Reply:

    CP1 is in construction and began behind schedule due to lawsuit delaying and invalidating the appraisals.

    CP1 has gained back schedule since starting but the liar ignores the lawsuit delay and ignores the schedule performance improvement — without any slip — since they began reporting.

    Joe Reply:

    CP4 schedule performance index is 0.83.

    There is no final schedule yet baselaimed. It’s too soon.
    The metric is based on an interim schedule.

    SPI Figures shown are based on the accepted Interim 180 Day Schedule early cash flow curve. Once the full Baseline Schedule is approved, a revised set of SPIs will be published based on the accepted mid-point Planned Value curve.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    and? They are missing the current schedule

    Joe Reply:

    A temporary schedule until they baseline the first.

    you’re arguing a triviality. It’s like calling tech-support because a temporary file in a temporary directory was deleted and you want to recover it because it might be important.

    Explain how this triviality ties back to your sweeping lecture about this project going over budget

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    well, when the project goes at 3/4 the pace it is supposed to, it costs more. Because time is money. Its that simple

    They created the temporary schedule, not me. Why would you have a schedule you dont intend to keep. And they published the result, so obviously they think it is important…why dont you?

    Joe Reply:

    There isn’t a baseline.
    The authority is using a temporary schedule until they baseline the first schedule.

    Not tying to change your mind, simply shlowing the ignorance behind your conclusions.

    Ask yourself, why is CP4 performing so poorly. It was not affected by the lawsuit

    Answer: they are not performing poorly because it’s just starting and they haven’t baseline a schedulE

    John’s a troll.

    Joe Reply:

    CP2/3

    e SPI calculation improves when using the average cashflow ($247,445,944 divided by $225,587,968 =1.1). The SPI calculation further improves using the Baseline Late Start cashflow ($247,445,944 divided by $129,603,550 = 1.91). We are evaluating which cashflow is the most reflective to use.

    Using average cash flow the project is ahead: 1.1

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    yes, and its even better if you use the late start cashflow

    Too bad neither of those apply. It is true that if you divide by a smaller umber you product is always higher. Congrats on learning math.

    The data is the data, pointing out that the number would be better if they could divide by a smaller number is irrelevant.

    Joe Reply:

    CP1 schedule performance index metric improved by 0.01 over last month. It has never dropped.
    The project began in March at 0.31

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    so you are asserting that .43 is acceptable. Because it is not

    Joe Reply:

    They had a lawsuit delay, started behind, and since have improved schedule performance and never slipped backwards on CP1.

    Terrible people tried to stop the project but they are recovering.

    Robert Reply:

    Can you provide a link to the referenced document? The CHSRA website is tough to navigate.

    Robert

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    sorry, I realized I forgot to put in the link. I usually do that.

    They are all under the Board of directors information tab, November, Finance committe

    The ROW information is in the operations report

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_111416_FA_Operations_Report.pdf

    the schedule information is in 3 separate reports called “CP X performance metrics) where X is 1, 2/3 and 4

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_111416_FA_CP1_Performance_Metrics.pdf
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_111416_FA_CP2_3_Performance_Metrics.pdf
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_111416_FA_CP4_Performance_Metrics.pdf

    Travis D Reply:

    John keeps ignoring that acquiring the ROW has been extra difficult due to the politics of the project. When you got whackjobs running around telling people not to sell it gets way more difficult. When you have an entire county (Kings) refusing to cooperate it gets even harder.

    Nothing about this is normal so comparing it to anything, including a plan, is kind of worthless.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I am not ignoring that it is hard, I don’t care. Of course it is hard, that is why we pay people to do it. If it was easy someone could do it part time as a hobby.

    People don’t like selling for any reaso, freeways or malls for that matter. They have a job, they are failing at said job.

    StevieB Reply:

    Your concern about the construction schedule is heartwarming. You must be eagerly anticipating California High-Speed Rail opening day!

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I hate to see tax dollars wasted dice I have to pay an increased share of them…now for an additional “temporary” 12 years

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Whether we want HSR built or not, I’m sure every rational individual agrees that it should stick to its schedule so we get it sooner and prices are kept down. Now that the debate over it actually being built is over, we may as well all push for it to be done ASAP. Its a win-win.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Agreed

    Roland Reply:

    How about waiting for low-bids once the Great Donald Depression hits bottom approximately 4 years from now?

  62. Jos Callinet
    Nov 15th, 2016 at 11:33
    #62

    This election has turned out to be a double-edged sword for rail. At the state and local level, rail and transit have fared pretty well, with some very significant ‘yes’ votes for long-range transit expansion across the nation.

    At the federal level, however, the future of transit and passenger rail could hardly be bleaker. I fully expect 2017 is going to prove to be Amtrak’s final year as a nationwide passenger rail carrier, because now that that anti-rail Republicans are in full control in Washington, there’s nothing stopping them from zeroing out Amtrak’s funding – something they’ve been ITCHING to do for the longest time. Now they have their golden opportunity to do just that, and I don’t see how they can be stopped this time around.

    I know that many here on this blog don’t care all that much about Amtrak’s long-distance trains – seeing them as lame relics from the past – but for those few who still do value them, now is the time to plan a long-distance train trip while the opportunity still exists. I predict that by this time next year, Amtrak will no longer exist, except perhaps as the operator of the Northeast Corridor.

    All bets are off on California’s and Texas’ fast train projects. Same goes for “All Aboard Florida’s” Brightline Train.

    Over time, this blog has evolved into more of a forum for discussing national issues, and less one focused on the CAHSR, per se. As I see it, even though construction is taking place, the CAHSR thing remains perilously mired in controversy and uncertainty. I’m not at all sure it will out-last Governor Brown’s final term in office. All in all, a rather sad state of affairs.

    The Los Angeles – San Francisco High Speed Train may well end up being California’s version of Cincinnati’s started but never-completed subway! People will be able to visit relics of a once-vast and ambitious project.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Agreed Jos, and what’s worse is that a lot of the transit tax proposals were counting heavily on federal matching funds to make their dreams come true. I don’t see those forthcoming at all, unless perhaps you are in a “red’ state.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not necessarily; this has happened before. Urban transit projects with support of wealthy local business interests(SPUR-Downtown Ass’n.) usually do ok under the GOP.

    Never underestimate the rude political power of BART, for instance. Remember Feinstein started out as a Republican. And Jerry is a middle-right stealth developer shill, not an enviro at all.

    However the San Gabriels wealthy “horsey set” will get listened to more by the Repubs as well as Atherton et al. I doubt than the big LA proper projects – especially after the success of the Sta. Monica line – will have trouble securing matching federal funds. But base tunnels to Podunk? The gypsy only knows.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Podunk voted republican!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Give them what they voted for. No health insurance, rapacious banks and crumbling infrastructure. Making America Great Again ™ one pothole at a time.

    Aarond Reply:

    They want infrastructure now, that’s why Trump won over Cruz six months ago.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They want free healthcare and two ponies in every backyard too. There won’t be any money for it. There won’t be any money for much of anything if they pass the tax plan they voted for.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You can always take out a loan…

    What’s that? Trump wants to default on US debt?

    O tempora! O mores!

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Aarond, people aren’t voting on infrastructure and trade.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Though any good politician should support both.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    At least in California, we’ll be able to put some REAL pot in those holes – and smoke it, recreationally – and legally! LOL

    synonymouse Reply:

    So there may be a fifth column arising against JerryRail in Antonovich’s bailiwick. The Desert Rats don’t want to be pushed out by gentrification?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Antonovich is history, at last.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Seriously syno, where do you get the belief that it is necessary to talk like you do?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Apparently the high desert refugees who want to be left alone are known as the Desert Rats. There appeared an article which claimed Antonovich wanted to drive them out and supplant them with richies and yuppies. You know – bourgeois ou rupins.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That does not answer my question.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They had their chance in 2003-2007 and didn’t. Lots of things they have been itching to do since FDR was elected that never get done. It would be one less bogeyman during elections.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I would be surprised if the GOP is in power in 2018, in 2020, and/or 2024. Things won’t always be this way.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Let’s hope you’re right.

    The GOP are masters in altering who gets to vote and how the votes are tallied.

    Remember how the Democrats, more precisely white Democrats controlled the south for a century? Elections did not end that. Protests and the long game changed that.

    And yes, it is absolutely possible that the Trumpistas try and infringe voting rights and gerrymander the opposition out of existence.

    Let’s stop them in their tracks.

    Aarond Reply:

    The Dems only have two chances left to do it, before the 2020 Census (which Districts, and Gerrymandering, is derived from). Their best hope is that Trump/the GOP screw up on trade which is what would cause the Rust Belt to swing back.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes, the USA is in great danger over the next four years.

    It will perhaps be the most dangerous four years to the Republic since 1861-1865.

  63. morris brown
    Nov 15th, 2016 at 16:56
    #63

    Dan Walters: Bullet train’s bond funds shifting into local rail projects

    Read and weep HSR advocates. The Authority has abandoned HSR; now only an effort to illegally spend Prop 1A funds.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Weep? Neither he nor you have specifically identified any local rail projects that will gain funding, local rail projects that don’t benefit HSR that is. Here’s a some local rail projects that benefit HSR: Caltrain electrification and Hillsdale grade separation. Is this what you’re referring to as local rail projects?

    morris brown Reply:

    @J. Wong:

    Pure unadulterated BS. Prop 1A is specific as to how construction funds can be spent. AB-1889 (mullin) violates those provisions and will be proven in court to be illegal. Benefiting HSR is not what this is all about. Benefiting HSR was the purpose of the $950 million that has already been allocated. The construction funds from the $9 billion of Prop 1A was not to benefit HSR, it was to build HSR.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @morris brown

    You’re making an unsupported claim. By benefit HSR I mean actually necessary to build HSR. Are you claiming that HSR can be built without electrifying Caltrain or grade separating Hillsdale? Just what projects are they funding that aren’t necessary of HSR? Tell me, just one!

    Roland Reply:

    @JAW, given that 28th and 31st currently dead-end at the Caltrain tracks, kindly help me understand how “grade-separating Hillsdale” “benefits HSR”.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Your problem @Silly Roland is your binary thinking. The grade separation is at 25th, 28th & 31st are icing. Also it’s part of the mid-Peninsula overtake, which clearly is a requirement for HSR (blended). And before you claim that there’s not enough traffic at 25th to justify grade separation, kindly explain to me how the build out of Bay Meadows won’t increase traffic through it.

    Joe Reply:

    http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2015-11-24/grade-separation-on-track-for-25th-avenue-san-mateo-caltrain-collaborate-on-project-nearing-construction-after-decades-of-planning/1776425154076.html

    San Mateo prioritized grade separation 25th.
    HSR plans to have all crossings grade separated.

    “I think it’s crucial because that is our main east-west artery over the Caltrain tracks for all of southern San Mateo,” Lim said. “We kept our eyes on the big picture, which is getting a grade separation that will improve safety and traffic flow 30 years from now, whether or not high-speed rail is here.”

    San Mateo has prioritized the 25th Avenue crossing for more than 15 years and it’s now nearing the final planning stages by setting aside funds to complete an environmental review and finalize the project design, Patterson said.

    Roland Reply:

    @Silly JAW, has it ever crossed your mind that $84M in Prop1A Bonds for “25th Avenue Grade Separation” sounds a lot like a 10% pay-back for passing AB1889 which (totally coincidentally) would legalize releasing $840M in Prop1A Bonds for Caltrain “Modernization”?

    Roland Reply:

    “HSR plans to have all crossings grade separated”. This is correct: PBRRA do intend to grade separate every single crossing INCLUDING THOSE THAT DO NOT CURRENTLY EXIST.

    agb5 Reply:

    Before AB-1889, Prop1A funds could only be used to build components of a high speed train system on the SF-LA high speed corridor.
    After AB-1889 Prop1A funds can only be used to build components of a high speed train system on the SF-LA high speed corridor.

    Roland Reply:

    @agb5: Kindly help me understand how you get from SJ to Transbay in 30 minutes @79 MPH.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Because it won’t be at 79 MPH but by upgrading the blended ROW and operations to 110 MPH using Prop 1A funds. Is that really so difficult for @Silly Roland to understand?

    Roland Reply:

    @ Silly JAW. Kindly help me understand how you plan on increasing the speed to 110 MPH AFTER electrification(?)

    Eric M Reply:

    Ever heard of quad-gates at rail crossings?

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Stupid Roland, they reconfigure the tracks all the time. Why do you believe that including catenary in that reconfiguration makes it impossible? Is reconfiguring catenary that much harder then reconfiguring track? And yes, you’re going to point to your silly example in England.

    This isn’t rocket science. So both grade separation and curve straightening will proceed after electrification.

    Joey Reply:

    The poles and wires are all reusable. Substations just have to be built outside of the future track footprint.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Anything is possible if you want to spend the money. But sensible people plan electrification projects to include all the realigning and track reconfiguration that needs to be done for well into the future. The cost of tearing this stuff out and repositioning is not only large, but inevitably involves line closures, service disruption and lost revenue. Why do it the hard way?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Because California is special .

    joe Reply:

    But sensible people plan electrification projects to include all the realigning and track reconfiguration that needs to be done for well into the future.

    If you have the money and if you have the EIR.
    If you are tell us they can work on HSR without an approved HSR EIR, I’m surprised.

    Sensibly, they split the EIR into 1) Caltrain and 2) HSR and NIMBYs litigated Caltrain. They won quickly and now can electrify the ROW. For those who are going to see better service sooner, it’s a good choice.

    but inevitably involves line closures, service disruption and lost revenue. Why do it the hard way?

    It’s the easier way given CEQA.

    I don’t recall any service disruption when they build the berm in san carlos. I was a daily commuter living in SF.

    Roland Reply:

    Stupid JAW would not know how to spell electrified shoofly.
    On a related note, I think that Joece and stupid JAW should get married.

    J. Wong Reply:

    If you know the answer, @Roland, then why are you asking the question? (“Kindly help me understand how you plan on increasing the speed to 110 MPH AFTER electrification(?)”) They will just use electrified shoofly while they are upgrading both curves and grade separations.

    Yes, it would be so much better if we had the money to design the system right from the start, but we don’t and it isn’t impossible to do it after the fact.

    @Paul Dyson asks a very good question “Why do it the hard way?”. The answer of course it is just as hard to do it the other way because humans are imperfect and any design will inevitably have defects, which will be just as expensive to fix.

    So guess what, the Bayshore station is going to get demolished and rebuilt. This will be true no matter how “correctly” it had been built in the first place. Why? Because they are going to straighten the curve leading into the tunnels, which will force a relocation of the station. The rebuilt Bayshore has been in service since 2004, which is over 10 years of service and likely to be more, which is pretty par for the course for deprecation and amortization.

    Roland Reply:

    @Stupid JAW. It was generally accepted that you did not have a clue WTF it is you were talking about but you just exceeded my expectations.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Silly Roland

    Pretty clearly when you don’t have a valid response to a post, you devolve to ad hominem attacks.

    @Roland you can have an idea of how the world works, but when it fails to meet your assumptions maybe you should change them?

    You can call me “stupid” all you want, but that is your opinion and not based on any facts. Get a clue.

    Roland Reply:

    J. Wong Reply:
    November 16th, 2016 at 10:00 am

    @Stupid Roland, they reconfigure the tracks all the time

    agb5 Reply:

    “how you get from SJ to Transbay in 30 minutes”

    By building one HSR component at a time, as permitted by Prop1A.
    First the Transbay Terminal, which is designed and built to be suitable and ready for high speed train operations.
    Second, the overhead electrical system which is designed to be suitable and ready for high speed train operations.
    Third, various grade separations, passing tracks and track re-alignments over time, but by then the provisions of Prop1A will have expired anyway.

    synonymouse Reply:

    A lot of us will have expired by then. I suggest deep pockets Peninsula will get more receptive treatment and attention from the new government in DC than from Jerry’s patronage machine in Sac. 110mph could very well go to back burner as Prop 1a is effectively sunsetted by political benign neglect.

    Bdawe Reply:

    I don’t see why you would build the train-station-that-can-only-be-served-by-electrics-because-it’s-underground before putting up the wires.

    agb5 Reply:

    You do it because you have a long term plan to build a multi-modal transport hub and engineers calculate that will be more expensive to build the surface bus station first and excavate the underground train box later.

    Regardless of whether you see why, the Transbay station is a portion of a high speed rail system that is suitable and ready for high speed train operations.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    The only thing any person involved with this clusterfuck was ever “calculating” was how to maximize expense and screw the public as deeply as possible.

    There’s an entire below-ground mezzanine level that isn’t necessary and isn’t remotely useful.

    There’s an entire above-ground mezzanine level that isn’t necessary and isn’t remotely useful.

    There’s an entire far-above-ground, massively heavy, structurally disastrous park level that is inaccessible, the purest ever example of “lipstick on a pig”, whose sole role is in marketing adjacent private high-rise structures, and is not just totally useless, but horrifically, mind-bogglingly, catastrophically counter-productive to any and all transportation uses of this so-called bullshit “multi-modal facility”.

    The Transbay Terminal is not now and will never be “suitable and ready for high speed train operations”, nor for any rail operations of any type. The sizes and lengths of the platforms and platform tracks, the catastrophicallly inadequate (see “unnecessary underground mezzanine level” and “catastrophic far-above-ground park level” passenger vertical circulation to and from the platforms, the catastrophically (see: the same) impeded and cluttered and capacity-restricted platforms, the aboslutely bat-shit-insane capacity-minimizing (lowest possible train capacity!) track and approach throat configuration …

    … there is nothing about the Transbay Terminal that is in any way related to efficient, or even adequate, or even non-laughable rail service of any type, and for high speed rail it’s even worse. (The problems with track and platform and circulation capacity go in spades for longer trains approaching slowly!)

    I spent years of my life (see 1996 SF Proposition H, which made it SF policy to actually build a Caltrain terminal at Transbay) making it possible for America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals and systematic rent-seeking public-raping cash-sucking assholes to waste $4+ billion on this disaster. It didn’t have to be, but it is.

    If you think there’s any “plan” associated with Transbay, or any “multi-modal” anything except as slideware, and especially if you think it is “suitable and ready for high speed train operations” you are either a fool or you’re on the take.

    It’s that bad. It can’t be undone other than with explosives.

    Jerry Reply:

    multi-modal?
    So far it is just for buses.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    And BART and MUNI metro a few blocks away, right?

    Jerry Reply:

    Have any Prop 1a bonds been sold?

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Yes – they have funded administrative costs, as well as a lot of the planning cost.

    Jerry Reply:

    Thanks.
    Since the bonds are such a controversial item, is there one source of information on just the bonds alone?
    And who, or how, are the proceeds monitored?

    Roland Reply:

    Voici, mon ami: http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_111416_FA_Total%20_Project_Expenditures_with_Forecasts.pdf

    Jerry Reply:

    Thank you.
    The report shows an amount of $705,200,000 spent between 2006 to 2016 from state funds.
    The state funds are a total of:
    Prop 1A, Public Transportation Account (PTA), State Highway funds, and Cap and Trade Funds

    Roland Reply:

    Il n’y a pas de quoi.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “What’s happening seemingly validates suspicions of some Capitol insiders, when the bullet train bond legislation was being written a decade ago, that it would be a bait-and-switch ploy to get state voters to finance local transit projects they otherwise would not support.”

    Palmdale “BART”

    And speaking of the devil I am sure BART Vader is trying to lay hands on some of that bond money. With help from MTC-ABAG.

    Roland Reply:

    O-M-G. I N-E-V-E-R saw that one coming.
    Who would ever have thought that CHSRA would one day reinvent itself as PBRRA???

  64. Jos Callinet
    Nov 15th, 2016 at 18:20
    #64

    Speaking of the legalization of recreational pot smoking in CA, I fully expect us bloggers who live here to become seriously “zoned out” on it, while Trump and his cohorts wreak havoc on the rest of this poor county of ous!

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    If you’re weird and not inclined to fight.

    synonymouse Reply:

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/15/denver-is-first-city-in-us-to-allow-pot-in-bars-restaurants.html

    discriminatory

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Oh come on. We don’t allow that with tobacco. I should be able to live my life relatively free of other people’s pot if i so choose.

  65. Jos Callinet
    Nov 15th, 2016 at 18:22
    #65

    * COUNTRY of ours – sorry, broken kbd in need of replacement.

  66. keithspedicabs
    Nov 15th, 2016 at 19:24
    #66

    CHINA’s top economic planner the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has approved plans for five more new lines representing a total investment of Yuan 187bn ($US 27.3bn) as the government seeks to revive flagging economic growth through infrastructure spending
    Independent Railway Journal

  67. Paul Dyson
    Nov 15th, 2016 at 22:11
    #67

    Let’s make it 1000 comments! Guinness book of records anyone?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    If this the most ever for a post?

  68. john burrows
    Nov 15th, 2016 at 22:25
    #68

    We are still on the election; 894 and counting; here’s one more—

    Trump has 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232.

    If, in the next few weeks, Trump says something inexcusable, even for Trump, or if something serious is revealed from his past, then a bloc of Republicans might decide that enough is enough, and that Trump cannot be allowed to become president.

    The Electoral College meets on Dec 19, and lets assume that 40 Republican electors vote for neither Clinton nor Trump, but instead vote for Pence for president.

    With no candidate having a majority of the electoral vote, the election is settled in the House of Representatives which meets on Jan 6, 2017 and decides between the top three candidates—Clinton, Trump and Pence. The Pence for president movement gathers strength, and with the vote of 26 states, he becomes our 45th president.

    Admittedly this idea is way out there, but it puts us one comment closer to 1,000, a goal that we will soon reach unless we hear from Robert pretty soon.

    Domayv Reply:

    we’re likely going to see someone leak his business records online, thus exposing him as having ties with Russia, thus creating a major upheaval

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They were peachy keen with him violating the embargo on Cuba. Why would Russia bother them? Why would anything bother them, Dear Leader is infallible.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Bargaining…..Its my favorite stage of grief.

    In the last 100 years there have been a total of 5 faithless electors and you think this election will have 40.

    Better yet, what are you going to say to the 57 million voters who voted fro Trump to become President and won. “Well, we are smart than you and fuck your votes and fuck the rules we win” SO basically become exactly what they say the elite left is.

    Nice plan.

    PS. Why do you think Pence is better?

    PPS. I want you to think about plan for a second. In the interests of democracy, your plan is to award the Presidency to someone who got 0 votes for President. Nice. Tell me, do you strip mine to prevent forest fires also?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Pence is terrifying because pence is competent. He is essentially Ted Cruz.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    https://theintercept.com/2016/11/14/chuck-schumer-the-worst-possible-democratic-leader-at-the-worst-possible-time/

    Honestly, the Democrats are making this too easy.

    “He was elected to the New York State Assembly at 23, the U.S. Congress at 29, and the U.S. Senate at 47. He’s never had any adult job outside elected office.”

    “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”

    Come on, are you even trying?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I’ll sell my soul for 100K more democratic votes found hidden in Philadelphia.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Hold out for 120k split between Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida

    Aarond Reply:

    That’s the hail mary of hail marys. Trump will keep his mouth shut until Jan 20th if only because he will be very busy learning exactly what a President’s day-to-day duties are.

    Face it, he’s President. Swallow it and get it over with.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yes, I agree that looking to the Electoral College to save us is unrealistic. And that path still leaves a Republican in charge.

    But as to your conclusion: He had a dumpster fire of a campaign, and it looks like it’s going to be a dumpster fire of an administration, and you think that somehow it doesn’t matter for the country, and we should just shut up about it?

    Eric M Reply:

    He will be better than the lame duck president we have now

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    No.

    Aarond Reply:

    If Trump’s Presidency truly is a disaster it’ll ruin the GOP and hand the nat’l government back to the Democrats. So there would still be a net gain.

    That said I reckon Trump is not that stupid, he’s more likely to start a fight with his own party than Democrats (which he agrees with on most issues, though notably not on immigration).

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    how many elections in a row are you going to predict the demise of the GOP?

    2008 was the beginning of the end…then 2010…then 2012 for sure…then 2014…then 2016 was the GOP death

    Since 2008, the GOP now controls 3/4 of the states, the presidency, both houses and the court.

    If there was any more “disaster” the dems would disband

    Aarond Reply:

    I didn’t claim that, only that Trump will likely cause at least one major conflict with them be it on trade or social policy.

    Remember that the GOP turned it around in one election (2010) when everyone thought they were totally done. The next 48 months are sink or swim for the Dems.

    Aarond Reply:

    I mean, I’m certain you remember back in 2008 and 2009 when people seriously thought the Republicans were done as a national party. They turned it around in 24 months, the Dems have 48. A big window, but they have to nail it or otherwise they will be screwed in the 2020s and 30s.

    Eric M Reply:

    Both parties need a overhaul

    Eric M Reply:

    …..an overhaul

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I agree. We need to kick the sanders-warren faction out of the Democrats.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They were in truth never in the Democrats – Sanders is a socialist who was invited in to challenge Sta. Hillary when no bonafide Demos had the stones to take her on.

    Aarond Reply:

    Webb took her on. Webb could have easily crushed Trump, too.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Webb the gun nut?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Kick the Sanders-Warren faction out?

    You do realize that Bernie Sanders is the closest thing to the Democratic party of FDR JFK and LBJ that ran the table in elections, especially those against non-moderate Republicans (yes, Eisenhower and Nixon were moderates)

    If there is one thing we can learn from history, it is that the left party moving to the right ends up hurting everybody.

    Aarond Reply:

    Kicking out progressives means Minnesota and Oregon flip, giving the GOP a 3/4ths majority to Amend the Constitution.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Im from oregon (RURAL Oregon). I can assure you it will never flip. Clinton is well liked there, it is just a matter of adoring Sanders vs loving Clinton. In the little town I grew up in in farm country, Clinton signs vastly outnumbered trump ones. Portland is even more extreme.

    Also, I don’t think you understand Minnesota. The twin cities are a fairly bourgeoisie place, and and loss in Duluth is outnumbered by a new condo tower in downtown Minneapolis.

    Aarond Reply:

    Was your town within 30 minutes of a major freeway or rail station? Because it makes a difference. Colfax is very rural but pro-Clinton because it’s along I-80. However Georgetown and Foresthill (which do not have highways) are completely in the Trump camp. The same applies to the other parts of “Jefferson”, including the bits inside Oregon.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes. A freeway goes through the outskirts of town and there is a smallish rail station. (I pretty much narrowed down where I lived….so take a guess.)

    I suppose where I’m from is bigger than most “small towns,” but I always found it rather agrarian.

    StevieB Reply:

    My family is from Douglas county where Eugene is considered a big city.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Oh cool. I would call Eugene Springfield to be a small city. Are you from the Roseburg area or the coast?

  69. Roland
    Nov 16th, 2016 at 07:35
    #69
  70. Roland
    Nov 16th, 2016 at 08:04
    #70

    Hyperloop One In The News (again): http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2016/11/16/silicon-valley-vc-backs-away-california-secession.html

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    shocked face…

    “When I said, start a new nation, I meant a new political party” Whatever.

    And now he is all about states rights, a right wing pet issue. He may be inventing a new stage of grief…confused.

    Aarond Reply:

    I can’t help but laugh at the calexit stuff, Jefferson residents would love nothing more than to pull the same stunt West Virginia did.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes. It is slightly ridiculous. I’m just appalled by the “were screwed, lets run away/give up crowd.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well if all of “blue America” were to be removed from the Union what would be left for “red America”? Cheyenne, Wyoming?

    No, seriously. Where would “red America” put is capital? After all, most of the people who voted Trump hate “dem big city libruhls” with their gay agenda and their “pablic transhimaging”

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They rant about it but once someone explains to them that people in San Francisco and Los Angeles will stop sending them money they wander off.

  71. Car(e)-Free LA
    Nov 16th, 2016 at 14:51
    #71

    65 comments away from 1000!!!!

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    now 45 comments away!!!!

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Maybe if we start another discussion of Palmdale vs The Ranch or BART vs Caltrain…. then we might easily hit 2000!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The superiority of the holy Altamont is always good for a few dozen comments.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The superiority only being apparent if we decide that Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties are less important than southern Alameda County, and a marginally shorter trip to SF from LA. FYI, SF-SAC is not an appropriate HSR corridor–it is too short for HSR to be considerably better than Capitol Corridor.

    PS: This is number 963.

    Jerry Reply:

    “SF-SAC is not an appropriate HSR corridor”
    Would SF-SAC to Redding be an appropriate HSR corridor?
    #965

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    No. The point of HSR to sac is for sac-la/oc/ie/sd trips, bust like the point of HSR to the inland empire is for ie-sf/sac trips, not trips within the same megalopolis.

    synonymouse Reply:

    WTF do you think the obsession over Palmdale is all about? The very definition of a trip within the same megalopolis and appropriate for an LA version of BART locally run and paid for.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It is for AV-Bay Area trips, primarily, possibly as part of a United Airlines codeshare.

    It is also possible that if there are empty train slots, Metrolink will want to buy them and run a electric service on them, cutting back the existing AV line to Santa Clarita.

    I doubt the HSR operator wants to sell many Palmdale-LA tickets, because they’d be left with a lot of empty seats up north.

    synonymouse Reply:

    A whole lot of the Bay Area never heard of Palmdale let alone is itching to go there. What we have here is a commute intra Lalaland.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    A whole lot of Palmdale is itching to get to the bay area, though.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Desert Rats want to go to Menlo? Marin is trying to ban trailers and RV’s from parking overnite on city streets or indeed anywhere. But I am sure they all voted for Hillary.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Palmdale is no more ghetto than Stockton or solano county.

    Roland Reply:

    @Syno. I went on a safari armed with a GPS and I found it. I also found I5 by driving west on 138 on the way home.

    Clem Reply:

    Bay Area – Sac is a perfect city pair for HSR. It has been strenuously ignored (Phase 2!) and downplayed (Amtrak has it!) in order to justify the mandated topology of the HSR system, favoring multiple redundant links that cost more and bring greater profit to you-know-who. Even bacterial slimes growing in Petri dishes know how to link population centers using an optimally short network.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Bacteria aren’t mesmerized by the Altamont pass

    Joey Reply:

    They’re too busy thinking about West Trenton and Silverliner XVIIs

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Or some tasty Kraut to ferment.

    scnr.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Clem, I think you have just libeled “…bacterial slimes growing in Petri dishes…”

    Bay Area – Sac; LA – San Diego; LA – Bako via Tejon; they all work as proof of concept and are viable. But PBCAHSR is exclusivelyl about 3 venues: San Jose, Fresno, and LA County-Palmdale.

    California seems to be stuck in a failure rut – Bay Bridge, TBT, Diridon Intergalactic and that otherwordly station thing whose name I cannot remember in the OC. Oh, and they I guess are the same ****tards killing streetcars on Katella.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Capitol Corridor already exists.

    Bdawe Reply:

    The Capitol Corridor trundles along at 45 mph average speed, and while it could be sped up with increased cant/cant deficiency along the bay shore and increased speed limits on the Cal-P Line (which historically hosted 95 mph passenger trains), the route geometry mean it’s never going to be a competitively fast route without considerable upgrades

    Wells Reply:

    Altamont is a more optimal route than Pacheco – more demand, greater need and potential to reduce existing development impact. And, for some unfathomable reason, the means to establish a 3rd HSR corridor – Peninsula-to-Sacramento – isn’t an important consideration for those who just want HSR to go faster through farmland on jaunts to La La land markets.

    Roland Reply:

    I drive to Sac once or twice a month. I drive to La La once or twice a year.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    What’s in Sac?

    joe Reply:

    HSR public comments.

    Roland Reply:

    Trial hearings.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Have we agreed that an Altamont route would follow the peninsula from RWC north, or would it go up towards Oakland and then use a new Transbay tube, either entering TBT from the east (if possible, or looping around Mission Bay?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Because everyone lobbying for altamont always seems to assume RWC

    Joey Reply:

    Either would work, but the Dumbarton crossing is going to be an order of magnitude cheaper than a new SF-Oakland tube.

    Joe Reply:

    …And all the fixings that go with that second tube. The Bay Area isn’t SF. We really need a southern rail crossing at dumbarton. It need not be linked to Altamont HSR which IMHO makes it that much less likely to happen. You’d have Santa Clara oppose the crossing if it put the alignment at risk.

    Joey Reply:

    Santa Clara County could be guaranteed service by building there first. The SJ branch would cost less and could be built sooner than the SF branch, so it makes sense to start service to SJ first.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Instead of the support of Santa Clara county, you will find strong opposition from Alameda county and many cities including Pleasanton, Livermore, Fremont. Plus there’s that matter of the sensitive wildlife refuge, and no clear route through Fremont

    Joe Reply:

    Santa Clara rejected that alignment and wants to be a gateway stop to SV. The big BART push to Diridon is, agree or not, part of that ambition. That’s a pull and as Neil wrote, expect a push back from the east bay.

    Other will see Altamont alignment as a delay for SF HSR and bad formeodership. They see and for the up front cost of getting to San Jose via Pacheco they can easily blend servies on Caltrain to 4th and King.

    Aarond Reply:

    As an aside, It’ll be fun to watch Altamont grow into a real Caltrain-level corridor in the 2020s and 30s. Perhaps by then Stockton will have grown out of it’s current financial hole and be a real competitor to San Jose and Sacramento.

    Jerry Reply:

    Make Stockton Great Again.

    Jerry Reply:

    It already has TWO viable working railroad stations.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I can envision a stockton-tracy-modesdo-merced metropolis

    Jerry Reply:

    With a HSR connection to Sacramento.
    Why wait for Phase 2 ?

    Roland Reply:

    2018 Business Plan anyone?

  72. Jerry
    Nov 16th, 2016 at 18:29
    #72

    Number 962.

    Jerry Reply:

    #968

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    #988

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    #989

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    #900

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    #990* (now #991)

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    THIS IS COMMENT 1000.

    THE WORLD WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.

  73. Roland
    Nov 16th, 2016 at 22:27
    #73

    Update status on Capitol Light Rail extension and Vasona Light Rail: http://vtaorgcontent.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/Site_Content/cmpp_111716_packet.pdf Item #11 on page 58.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Thats terrific, though I (admittedly an outsider) consider their airport apm plan to be flawed.

    Roland Reply:

    Insiders agree with you.

  74. morris brown
    Nov 16th, 2016 at 22:47
    #74

    Going back to Robert’s predictions and hopes, it would appear he lost on almost all counts.

    Denham, Valadao,Issa,Knight, Royce and Rohrabacher all won (Issa ahead 4000 votes, but could still lose I guess).

    State Assembly did go 2/3 to the Demos, but they are one short of 2/3 in the State Senate.

    Prop 53 did lose apparently, but it is edging closer, and there is a slight chance it might yet prevail. In any case for HSR Prop 53 really doesn’t matter, because the Cap and Trade revenues that were to support a revenue bond had disappeared. In one week we will see just what happened in the November auction.

    Not only did the Federal house maintain a huge majority for the Republicans, they managed to hold onto the Senate, which almost everyone thought would go Democratic.

    Joe Reply:

    Finding Dory has better short term memory.

  75. Jerry
    Nov 16th, 2016 at 23:30
    #75

    1,000
    Bingo!

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Damn. You beat me. I posted 1001 :-(

    Jerry Reply:

    :-)

  76. Roland
    Nov 17th, 2016 at 01:38
    #76

    Breaking News: Caltrain electrification funding update: http://baha.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=1896 (FFW 26:45)

  77. morris brown
    Nov 17th, 2016 at 05:31
    #77

    LA Times Editorial:Build America, then Buy American

    In a rare LA Times Editorial on California HSR, we read nothing much new. The Times by far has done the best reporting on the boondoggle, yet its editorial board again shows no guts and continues wallow.

    The Authority, now wants to “modernize rail”, another term to just build regional rail projects.

    Why doesn’t the editorial really recognize that under Trump, there will be no Federal funds coming to “deep blue”, California for HSR. That is reality. Time to stop pissing away billions.

    Joe Reply:

    Unreal standard for HSR

    HSR will eventually be 100% US content.
    Initial train purchases needed soon so waiver will produce 80% US content according to the Times. Worse case.

    Is 80% bad?
    Highest US content automobile is 75% and only three models meet that lower standard.
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/05/what-makes-a-car-american-made-in-the-usa/index.htm

    US mitary MTLV family of vehicles are 50% US content by law.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_of_Medium_Tactical_Vehicles

    Boeing 787 flagship airplane is 70% US content and significant labor is overseas.
    http://787updates.newairplane.com/787-Suppliers/World-Class-Supplier-Quality

    Be informed and know the facts.

    Aarond Reply:

    The argument here is no better, in fact it’s this sort of thing that compelled people to vote for Trump in the first place. Rail could at least stay on the high road and be 100% Made In America.

    Joe Reply:

    I agree and think that’s why the LA Times is on this USA content topic.

    They have a plan to get to rail 100%. We should not buy anything until they can make trains 100%. In the USA. Any idea how much longer it will take? Should this work be done outside CA ?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    That’s stupid.

    Roland Reply:

    I did not know that “Buy America” applied to the private sector. Silly me for not being informed and knowing the facts.

    Joe Reply:

    You’re not a very bright person. These kinds of examples showing reasonable us content levels from American companies are confusing to you. I understand but can’t help you.

    Roland Reply:

    I did not know that “Buy America” applied to the private sector. Silly me for not being informed and knowing the facts.

  78. morris brown
    Nov 17th, 2016 at 11:34
    #78

    Sac Bee: (on the other California)

    Clinton may have won California – but Trump carried its white rural north

    Jerry Reply:

    And parts of Central Valley.
    Didn’t the Bakersfield area go for Donald?
    Maybe “his” area will be rewarded with help for HSR.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But didn’t Hillary carry Orange County?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yes.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    When was the last time a Democrat did that?

    When was the last time the person who did that carried California?

    When was the last time the person who did that carried California and lost the electoral vote?

  79. Bahnfreund
    Nov 18th, 2016 at 12:29
    #79

    Has any entry on this post ever amassed more comments than this one?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I don’t think so.

Comments are closed.