Boondoggles

Gov. Jerry Brown, Signing High-Speed Rail Bill: "You have to take the bull by the horns and start spending and investing in things that make sense"

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Read it and weep, you fearful declinists! Via the San Jose Mercury News:

Declinists! All of them!

With his most public cheerleading yet for California's bullet train, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed the $8 billion bill to kick off high-speed rail construction and showed no sign he was worried about voters' increasing skepticism for the rail line.

Calling naysayers "NIMBYs," "fearful men," and "declinists," the governor celebrated a project that he first signed a bill to study 30 years ago.

Declinists? Really? Is that supposed to be an insult? Is that the best he can come up with?

Apparently spent the whole day signing this thing, speaking in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, but oddly, not at the actual places in the Central Valley where the first leg will be built (and the only leg that this funding actually covers):

Despite the governor's enthusiasm, high-speed rail has become increasingly unpopular around the state, and polls show a majority of voters now oppose the plan largely because of its record costs and uncertain prospects for completion. Brown, who was silent publicly when the Legislature debated his bullet train plan two weeks ago, now needs Californians back on board but said Wednesday he wasn't concerned by the polls.

"You have to take the bull by the horns and start spending and investing in things that make sense," Brown said Wednesday.

His choice of words for the project's opponents showed the governor wasn't concerned about winning over critics just yet.

One of those critics, Larry Klein, a Palo Alto councilman and chair of the city's high-speed rail committee, was unfazed by Brown's barbs.

"I'm not going to get into a name-calling contest with the governor. That doesn't get us anywhere," said Klein, who was not at the signing ceremony. "This doesn't change anything. It's still a boondoggle and a fiasco."

The Mercury News also points out the press release put out from the governor's office focused on the additional regional light rail money that helped get the bullet train past the state Senate (by a single vote).

While Brown held nothing back in his remarks on high-speed rail in San Francisco, a press release about his signature was much less candid. It began by saying the bill will "create thousands of new jobs in California by modernizing regional transportation systems" before mentioning high-speed rail.

The press release went into detail on local projects that will benefit from the funds, and how many jobs will be created, without ever detailing the particulars of the high-speed rail project.

I'm going to guess it's because they have absolutely no idea how they're actually going to pay for the train past Fresno or Bakersfield.

In totally unrelated news, Compton is now talking about bankruptcy. Pessimistic declinists, the lot of them!