Et Tu, Newsom? Is Anybody Left to Support Gov. Moonbeam’s Bullet Train?

"My vision for the future of California includes me having a job."Credit: jdlasica / Foter / CC BY-NCThere have been a lot of technical, financial and legal hitches that could have and should have already killed Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed high-speed rail, but we all know hard it is to kill a darling government project no matter how bad it is.

When the project becomes so bad, though, that politicians start seeing it less and less of a darling, that’s when it’s time to start looking for the man in the executioner’s hood. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has pulled his support for the state’s high-speed rail project. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Newsom has a knack for getting out in front on issues - most famously in his 2004 backing of same-sex marriage, and more recently in endorsing legalized marijuana. Although he was an early and ardent supporter of the bullet train, Newsom said in a phone interview Tuesday that "it's not the same system that was being promoted" when it first came before voters in 2008.

"We were selling a $32 billion project then, and we were going to get roughly one-third from the federal government and the private sector," he said. "We're not even close to the timeline (for the project), we're not close to the total cost estimates, and the private sector money and the federal dollars are questionable."

Newsom would prefer state leadership to focus more on California’s drought and the state’s perpetual water issues as a smarter investment of public funds.

Is Newsom a harbinger of more Democrats jumping off this mess of a project? Is it possible that politics could actually kill what common sense could not? We’ll just have to see.

(Hat tip to Sevo.)

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  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    It's the rare and fleeting hat tip, seen here in the wild for the first time in years.

  • Agammamon||

    Overhunting threatens it with extinction.

  • C. Anacreon||

    And well deserved by Sevo, often our last line of defense against troll scourges.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    +1

  • Sevo||

    Thank ya! Thank ya ver much!

  • Almanian!||

    Newsom would prefer state leadership to focus more on California’s drought and the state’s perpetual water issues as a smarter investment of public funds.

    I always think of Kinison - "Ya see this??! This is SAND! NOTHING FUCKING GROWS HERE!!! MOVE TO WHERE THE WATER IS!!!"

    Fuck California.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Fuck LA and SF and leave the rest of the majestic state out of it. How is it even possible to fuck up a state that has Yosemite, Big Sur, Julian, Solvang, *and* San Diego?

    Sky-high unemployment, porn actors with rubbers, sushi chefs wearing gloves, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

  • widget||

    Solvang? Most of the homes and stores are built with steep roofs so the snow and ice slides off, to make it look like Denmark. It never gets below 40 there.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    It's a shameless tourist trap with outstanding pastries and a handful of prissy wine shops. That such a place could exist anywhere is a testament to the power of relatively free capital.

  • widget||

    Don't forget the ostrich farm (and ostrich burgers) in nearby Buellton.

  • Sevo||

    And don't miss the motorcycle museum in Solvang.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Those fuckers are mean.

  • juris imprudent||

    ^^ This comment is just so perfectly placed.

  • C. Anacreon||

    And don't miss the famous bottomless bowl of pea soup there either.

  • Sevo||

    "And don't miss the famous bottomless bowl of pea soup there either."

    Pea Soup Andersons.
    The only restaurant in town with shaded parking in '74.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    How is it even possible to fuck up a state that has Yosemite, Big Sur, Julian, Solvang, *and* San Diego?

    Easy, fill it with Californians.

  • juris imprudent||

    Hey, hey - the people born here aren't usually the ones fucking the place up. It is all the people from Jersey or Ohio that come here "to live the dream".

  • ||

    Hey, LA has plenty of water in reserve to last us this delight, even moonbeam acknowledged that, although we don't have a serious shortage, we should still conserve, for NorCal's sake. Over my dead body.

  • ||

    Drought*, although I delight in the suffering of those northern progtards.

  • widget||

    Google will just have to make us stillsuits to go along with the self-driving cars and soul-piercing glasses.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    If the government of California has to do a boondoggle project. They could at least try to solve a real world problem like lack of fresh water. You live next to an ocean build desalination plants to provide fresh water to high population areas.

  • Sevo||

    We live in the mountains to the east. Mountains have valleys; you can put dams in them.
    At least, so I've heard.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    California probably has lots of options to solve their water issues. None of those options will probably ever be done, because enviromentalists would throw a fit. Those same enviromentalists probably support the rail line even though I'm sure it has destroy lots of natural habitat to be made.

  • Rich||

    It's natural habitats all the way down!

  • Sam Grove||

    I believe they've opposed the HS rail, but unions...

  • C. Anacreon||

    because enviromentalists would throw a fit.

    They are still throwing fits over the dam at Hetch Hetchy 100 years later, and trying ballot initiatives to tear it down, although it provides the water for the majority of San Francisco and surrounding areas.

    "But there is a beautiful valley under that reservoir!" They don't seem to realize that there are plenty of beautiful valleys up and down the Sierras (thus the multiple National Parks) and we'll probably be OK with the ones we have.

    You know, you have to get water from somewhere, and the whole world doesn't have to bend over backwards for the hiking community. And I'm saying this as someone who loves hiking more than just about anything else. Life is full of trade-offs.

  • Sevo||

    "But there is a beautiful valley under that reservoir!"

    Love that pitch. Wife and I were at the dam a couple of years ago and stopped at that burger joint in the park; photos of the valley before the dam.
    My goodness! Look at that! Looks almost exactly like Yosemite!
    Yep, we really need to stop drinking water so we can have TWO Yosemites!

  • Agammamon||

    Or, or, and this is just a wild stab in the dark at a solution here, you could stop subsidizing farmers and make them pay market rate for the water they use.

    Then, amazingly enough, they'll change their water usage patters - either by adopting innovation that reduces the need for fresh water inputs or they'll go somewhere else where you can grow these crops *without* massive subsidy.

    And the taxpayers of CA get a massive reduction of their water requirements, freeing up water for other uses (and reducing its cost) *without* having to implement a huge regulatory agency with an ill-defined agenda and powers at massive cost.

  • Sevo||

    CA does the same for residential use; people grow lawns in the desert irrigated with potable water.

  • pan fried wylie||

    make them pay market rate for the water they use. Then, amazingly enough, they'll change their water usage patters

    Suddenly the investment for drip irrigation becomes economical! Amazing how that works.

  • ||

    BRAG/

    I had the pleasure of seeing Sam Kinison perform live. I can't remember a thing about it anymore beyond the fact that I'm sure I was dying laughing the whole night.

    /BRAG

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's awesome. I wish I'd seen him.

  • Rhywun||

    Me too. Being something of a prude at the time, it certainly opened my eyes. And yeah I was laughing my ass off the whole time. The one joke I sort of remember had something to do with old lady parts.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    The summer of 1975 I was coming back from my overseas hitch and a friend invited me to an off-broadway show. This show included people named John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Gilda Radner. I recall laughing my ass off for about two hours.

    ... Hobbit

  • creech||

    "we're not close to the total cost estimates"

    They never are. In the 1850s the Hoosac Tunnel in Massachusetts was slated to cost a little over $1 million. By the time it was done, the Commonwealth of Mass. had shelled out $14 million. I wonder how many projects (probably all of them!) were undertaken since 1850 with the promise "this time it will be different.")

  • -Umbriel-||

    I was disappointed to find they weren't talking about former NBC Orchestra member Tommy Newsom -- "Mr. Excitement"

  • juris imprudent||

    Who is sadly no more and at that would still be a huge improvement over our beloved Lt Gov.

  • Sevo||

    Moonbeam is no stranger to ego-driven 'legacy' projects and since he doesn't pay for 'em, hey, they're cheap!

    "Bigger overruns occurred on publicly funded projects in the U.S.
    The Bay Bridge, estimated at $1.3 billion, and now at $6.4 billion and counting, is the worst."
    http://californiawatch.org/dai.....-say-11710

    And it's not really as good as that:
    "Although today’s price tag stands at $6.3 billion, the figure accounts for only salaries and hard materials—things like concrete and steel and cranes. When all is said and done, the new Bay Bridge will wind up costing tax- and toll-payers more than $12 billion—a figure that leaves even the officials in charge “staggered.”
    http://sfpublicpress.org/news/.....ented-cost
    Yep, only 10-times the original estimate! I'm sure Moonbeam's choo-choo could break that record.

  • Rich||

    Is it possible that politics could actually kill what common sense could not?

    "Inconceivable!"

  • Agammamon||

    . . . Newsom said in a phone interview Tuesday that "it's not the same system that was being promoted"

    Yes, yes it *is* the same system that was being promoted. The only difference between then and no is that they couldn't keep up the lies told to the public long enough. So, instead of you doing your due diligence years ago, now you want to pretend to 'get in front' of the issue when all you're doing is more political pandering.

    You're only saving grace in this, Newsom, is that *this* time your pandering will *help* the people of CA.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Newman!

  • Agammamon||

    Hello, Nnnewsom.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Fun fact: Wayne Knight is good friends with Emma Thompson.

  • Real American||

    Welcome to the party, pal!

    Maybe people should be asking Grewsome what the fuck took him so long? This project was going to be a boondoggle from the beginning and it was as predictable as the sun rising in the east. That he's just now figuring it out only proves more that this idiot is unfit for public office.

  • Sevo||

    "Maybe people should be asking Grewsome what the fuck took him so long?"

    Don't have to. He was just waiting for the wind to change direction.

  • RishJoMo||

    What, no way man that dude does not have a clue, at all.

    www.Anon-Works.com

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