I was away from the blog for a week because of an unusually busy time at the office. Looks like all that work will pay off, though, because I'm gonna need those $$ to help pay for the latest round of high speed rail funding:
A divided state Senate approved billions of dollars in funding to start construction on California's ambitious high-speed rail line Friday, handing the controversial project $7.9 billion in state and federal money for the first 130 miles of track and a series of local transit upgrades.
The funding measure, which was easily approved in the Assembly Thursday, will now head to Gov. Jerry Brown, who pushed lawmakers to approve it. In all, the Legislature this week authorized the issuance of $4.6 billion in state bond funds - about half of the $9.9 billion approved by voters in 2008 - and opened the door for California to obtain $3.3 billion in federal grants, for a total of $7.9 billion.
It was a key vote: Federal transportation officials had warned that if the money were not made available this summer, they would yank the $3.3 billion in stimulus funds and give it to other states.
Honestly, what can you say that hasn't been said before? We're cutting parks, cops and schools - you know, the things that people actually want the government to do - for a never-land high speed rail that exists mostly so CA liberals can stand around striking visionary poses (just like those Heroes Of The People's Republic posters from the Iron Curtain days). If the thing gets built as planned, it will cost hundreds of billions of dollars and have a ridership that won't come close to paying for the damn thing for one simple reason: there is already a fast, cheap method to travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It's called an airplane. I can see them out my living room window, landing at SFO and, in the distance, at Oakland Airport. These billions are being spent so we can go backwards, not forwards.
But, hey, keep voting for Democrats if that's what makes you feel smart and sophisticated.